Kenyan climber dies on Everest, Nepali guide missing

A search team is deployed on the 8,849-metre high mountain


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Published: Thu 23 May 2024, 10:37 AM

A Kenyan climber has died close to Everest's summit and his Nepali guide is missing, a tourism official said Thursday, taking this season's toll on the world's highest mountain to at least three.

Joshua Cheruiyot Kirui, 40, and his Nepali guide Nawang Sherpa, 44, went out of contact Wednesday morning, and a search team was deployed on the 8,849-metre (29,032-foot) high mountain.

"The team have found the Kenyan climber dead between the summit and the Hillary Step, but his guide is still missing," Khim Lal Gautam, chief of the tourism's department field office at the base camp, told AFP.

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Search parties also continue to look for a 40-year-old British climber and 21-year-old Nepali guide who have been missing since Tuesday morning after an ice fall collapsed as they descended from Everest's peak.

On Monday, a Romanian climber died in his tent during a bid to scale Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain in the world.

Everest and Lhotse share the same route until diverting at around 7,200 metres.

Earlier this month, two Mongolian climbers went missing after reaching Everest's summit and were later found dead.

Two more climbers, one French and one Nepali, have died this season on Makalu, the world's fifth-highest peak.

Nepal has issued more than 900 permits for its mountains this year, including 419 for Everest, earning more than $5 million in royalties.

More than 500 climbers and their guides have already reached the summit of Everest after a rope-fixing team reached the peak last month.

This year, China also reopened the Tibetan route to foreigners for the first time since closing it in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Nepal is home to eight of the world's 10 highest peaks and welcomes hundreds of adventurers each spring, when temperatures are warm and winds typically calm.

Last year, more than 600 climbers made it to the summit of Everest, but it was also the deadliest season on the mountain, with 18 fatalities.


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