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Australian woman dies on Everest descent

Dr Strydom had been travelling in Nepal for more than a month with her husband and 10 other climbers.

The 34-year-old was on her way down from Camp 4 to Camp 3 when she fell ill and died on Saturday afternoon, Pasang Phurba Sherpa, a board director at Seven Summit Treks, said.

“After reaching the summit yesterday she said she was feeling very weak and suffering from a loss of energy … signs of altitude sickness,” Pasang said.

A 35-year-old Dutch man suffering from high-altitude sickness also died on his way down from Mount Everest’s summit.
The bodies were at an elevation of 8000 metres and it would be a couple of days before they could airlift them to Kathmandu and hand them over to relatives, who had been informed, he said.
They are the first fatalities on the world’s highest peak since expeditions resumed this year.
The news comes after Australian teenager Alyssa Azar became the youngest person to conquer the world’s highest mountain.
The Dutch man, Eric Arnold, died near the South Colonel on Friday night, said Pasang Phurba of the Seven Summit Treks agency in Kathmandu.

Arnold had enough bottled oxygen with him as well as climbing partners, but he complained of getting weak and died before he was able to come down to a lower altitude, Phurba said.
He said more details were not available because of poor communications with the crew on the 8,850-meter mountain, and that it would take days and several people to bring Arnold’s body down the slopes.
Arnold was from the Dutch city of Rotterdam, according to his Twitter account. The last Twitter post, made Friday, said, “Mountain climber Eric Arnold reaches the summit of Mount Everest at the fifth attempt.” In a local television interview early this year, Arnold said conquering Everest was a childhood dream.
“I used to have a poster of Mount Everest above my bed,” he told RTV Rijnmond.
In the interview, he said he was aware that the risks of climbing the world’s highest peak did not end at the summit. “Two-thirds of the accidents happen on the way down,” he said. “If you get euphoric and think ‘I have reached my goal,’ the most dangerous part is still ahead of you.” Australian media later reported that an Australian climber had just died on Everest, but the report could not be immediately confirmed.
In addition, a 45-year-old woman from Norway, Siv Harstad, was helped down from the top of Everest on Saturday by two Sherpa guides after suffering from snow blindness, the Norwegian news agency NTB said.
The incidents come as Nepal’s mountaineering community is still recovering from the past two climbing seasons, which were hit by disasters. Nepal’s devastating earthquake last year caused an avalanche that killed 19 people at Everest base camp, and in 2014, an avalanche above the base camp killed 16 Sherpa guides.

Favourable weather has allowed hundreds of climbers to scale Everest since last week. More than 330 climbers have reached the summit from Nepal since May 11, and several more have done so from the northern routes in Tibet


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