Mount Everest Overcrowding | Death Toll Rises to 11

KATHMANDU: Another mountaineer has died after summiting Mount Everest, bringing the death toll for the 2019 climbing season to 11 people.

American National, Christopher John Kulish, 62, died on Monday, 27 May after reaching the top of Everest on the Nepalese side of the mountain in the morning, Meera Acharya, the Director of Nepal’s Tourism Department told.

American lawyer Christopher Kulish died while climbing Mount Everest, making him the 11th  death on the mountain in 2019.

While descending, he was strong and safely reached the South Col (situated at an altitude of around 7,900 meters, or 25,918 feet) late Monday evening before he suddenly passed away, she said.

In a statement, the family of the Colorado man said they were “heartbroken” at the news. “Chris, who turned 62 in April, went up with a very small group in nearly ideal weather after the crowds of last week had cleared Everest.”

“He saw his last sunrise from the highest peak on Earth. At that instant, he became a member of the ‘7 Summit Club’ having scaled the highest peak on each continent,” the statement continued. His family said he died doing what he loved and that he is survived by his mother and younger siblings.

Also on Monday, an Austrian family confirmed the death of one of their relatives. Sixty-four-year-old Ernst Landgraf died on Thursday, hours after fulfilling his dream of scaling Everest, according to his obituary and funeral announcement placed by his family.

British climber Robin Haynes Fisher was one of those who had warned of the dangers of overcrowding.

“With a single route to the summit, delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game,” he wrote in a captioned Instagram post on May 19.

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