Mount Everest: Two deaths and waiting for the next weather window

Mount Everest (l.)

While there is still no end in sight to the Corona drama in Nepal, oxygen equipment is being checked at the base camp at the foot of Mount Everest. Many teams are preparing for their summit attempt. The next good weather window is not expected until the middle of next week at the earliest. In the first major summit wave, a total of about 150 climbers reached – with bottled oxygen – the highest point at 8,849 meters on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Death on descent

R.I.P.

Yesterday, the Nepalese expedition operator Seven Summit Treks reported the first two deaths of the climbing season. A 41-year-old Swiss man died while descending from the highest point at the height of the South Summit (8,350 meters) – from exhaustion, as it was said. The father of five had wanted to scale the Seven Summits, the highest mountains of all continents. Everest was the last summit that was still missing for him. A 55-year-old U.S. American, exhausted and snow-blind, had to turn back at the site of the former Hillary Step (8,790 meters) and later died in Camp 4 on the South Col.

Again almost 8,500 new infections

Meanwhile, the number of new COVID-19 infections in Nepal remains at a high level. On Friday, authorities counted 8,467 new cases within 24 hours. Across the country, sick people are being rejected at hospitals because of a lack of bottled oxygen to treat them. Even though I am aware that the expeditions’ supply of oxygen on Everest would not even cover the daily needs of the clinics in the capital Kathmandu, the season on the highest mountain on earth feels increasingly wrong to me.