Three climbers die as Everest season winds down

Mon May 21, 2012 4:44pm EDT
 
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By Gopal Sharma

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Three climbers died while descending from the summit of Mount Everest, officials said on Monday.

Eberhard Schaaf, 61, from Aachen, Germany, who was climbing with the Eco Everest Expedition to remove decades-old garbage from the mountain, died on Saturday along the normal Southeast Ridge Route on the 8,850 meter (29,035 feet) peak.

Shriya Shah, a 32-year-old Nepal-born woman living in Canada, and a Korean, Song Won-Bin, also died while climbing down from the summit at the weekend, Tourism Ministry official Gyanendra Shrestha said

"Schaaf died at the South Summit of Sagarmatha due to altitude sickness," said Ang Tshering Sherpa, chief of the Asian Trekking company that organized the expedition referring to the Nepali name of the mountain. South Summit is about 8,747 meter (28,697 feet) high.

He said the body was lying on the mountain and the family as well as the German Embassy in Nepal had been informed.

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

A 73-year-old Japanese woman improved her own record and climbed the peak for a second time at the weekend becoming the world's oldest woman to scale the giant peak.

Two Nepali sherpa guides died on the mountain last month.   Continued...