May 27, 2023: Recently Officials have reported the passing of a Canadian climber Petrus Albertyn Swart above Camp III on Mount Everest, bringing the death toll for the season to 12. Additionally, five more climbers are missing on the world’s highest peak, with three foreigners and two Nepali climbers missing in the high camps for several days. The deceased climber has been identified as Petrus Albertyn Swart from Canada. Base camp sources revealed that Swart fell ill above Camp IV due to high altitude sickness while attempting the final push towards the summit. He was assisted in descending to Camp IV but tragically passed away on his way to Camp III. Swart was part of an expedition managed by Madison Mountaineering.

This spring season, Mount Everest has witnessed a total of 12 fatalities. The search continues for at least five climbers who are still missing above the high camps. Among the missing is solo Hungarian climber Suhajda Szilard, who disappeared from the Hillary Step after attempting to scale Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen or personal Sherpa support on May 24. A team of Sherpa rescuers, accompanied by a helicopter, is currently engaged in efforts to locate him.

Another climber, Hawari Bin Hashim from Malaysia, has been missing since May 18 when he arrived at Camp IV after reaching the summit. Shrinivas Sainis Dattatraya, an Indian-Singaporean climber, is also among the missing, being disappeared from an altitude of 8,500 meters on Mount Everest. Reports suggest that Dattatraya fell from 8,500 meters on the Tibetan side. Search operations are ongoing to locate these missing climbers.

Meanwhile, two individuals, Ranjit Kumar Shah from Janakpur and his Sherpa guide Lakpa Nuru Sherpa, have been out of contact since May 25 near the South Summit. The last tracked GPS location of the duo was recorded around 1:00 a.m., raising concerns about their well-being.

In earlier incidents, Ang Kami Sherpa, a kitchen staff member at Camp II, tragically lost his life on May 21 due to a fatal fall at a helipad while collecting logistics. Australian climber Jason Bernard Kennison, aged 40, also passed away on May 19 while descending from the summit. Malaysian police officer Ag Askandar Bin Ampuan Yaacub died above the South Col while climbing Mount Everest on May 19. Sherpa climbers are en route to the high camp to recover his body. On May 18, Xuebin Chen, 52, perished near the South Summit while making his way towards the summit. Furthermore, Indian woman Suzanne Leopoldina Jesus, who fell ill at the Mount Everest base camp, sadly lost her life in Lukla while undergoing treatment on May 18. Lastly, Victor Brinza from Moldova died after falling ill at the South Col on May 17, and Phurba Sherpa from Sankhuwasabha passed away near the Yellow Band above Camp III on May 16.

American doctor Jonathan Sugarman, aged 69, also lost his life during an acclimatization rotation at Camp II on May 1. Furthermore, on April 12, three Sherpas—Dawa Tseri Sherpa, Pemba Tenzing Sherpa, and Lakpa Rita Sherpa—were tragically buried in an avalanche that struck an icefall route above the base camp.

The series of deaths and missing climbers on Mount Everest has raised concerns about the safety and risks involved in scaling the formidable peak. The mountaineering community and authorities continue to emphasize the importance of adequate preparation, experience, and adherence to safety protocols when attempting such a challenging expedition.

Everest death 2023
Image Source: Tashi Lakpa Sherpa