Three climbers die and two remain missing on Mount Everest

  • @johnmatthewhall

At least three climbers have died while descending from the summit of Mount Everest.

One of three climbers was confirmed to be Eberhard Schaaf, 61, from Aachen in Germany, who was climbing with the Eco Everest Expedition to remove decades-old rubbish from the mountain.

The other climbers were confirmed as Shriya Shah, a 32-year-old Nepal-born woman living in Canada, and Song Won-Bin, a South Korean.

A Chinese climber and his Nepali guide remain missing on the mountain.

Gyanendra Shresth, an official from Nepal’s Mountaineering Department described how a strong wind storm swept the mountain late on Saturday after otherwise favourable conditions.

Ang Tshering Sherpa, chief of the Asian Trekking company that organised the expedition confirmed Schaaf’s death.

"Schaaf died at the south summit of Sagarmatha due to altitude sickness," he said, referring to the Nepali name of the mountain. Everest’s south summit is about 8,747 metres high.

Sherpa said the body was still lying on the mountain, adding "If the family wants the body to be brought down we will try, but it is very difficult to do so from that altitude".  

300 climbers remain at different camps on Everest, waiting for a window of good weather to continue climbing the peak before the annual monsoon begins next month. The rains force all climbers to evacuate the mountain.

Nearly 3,700 people have climbed Mount Everest since 1953 when Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay scaled it.

At least 236 people have died on the slopes of the giant peak so far.