Nepal Says Overcrowding On Mount Everest "Not Sole Reason" Behind Deaths

Nepal Tourism Department's Director General Dandu Raj Ghimire said as periods of fine weather had been short, the number of people on the routes to Mout Everest had been "higher than expected".

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Nepal Says Overcrowding On Mount Everest 'Not Sole Reason' Behind Deaths

Photos of long queues near the Mount Everest summit show record numbers ascending the mountain in May.


Kathmandu: 

Nepal has denied accusations that the rise in the number of deaths of Mount Everest climbers is solely due to "overcrowding", adding adverse weather conditions also resulted in the deaths.

Nepal Tourism Department's Director General Dandu Raj Ghimire said 381 people had climbed the Mount Everest this spring, but as periods of fine weather had been short, the number of people on the routes had been "higher than expected".

So far, 10 climbers have been reported dead or missing this season. But Mr Ghimire put the current death toll at eight, the BBC reported. 

Four Indians including Kalpana Das, Nihal Bagwan and Anjali Kulkarni are among the dead. 

Their deaths have been attributed primarily to a long queue of both ascending and descending climbers at the Mount Everest, forcing many to wait for hours at 8,000 metres plus altitudes. 

One Nepalese, an Austrian and an American are also among dead or missing, reports say. Photos of long queues near the summit have been widely shared as record numbers ascended the mountain in May.

According to the BBC, Briton Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, died on Saturday minutes after reaching the summit.

Kevin Hynes, 56, from Ireland, died in his tent on Friday and Seamus Lawless, also Irish, is presumed dead after falling near the summit.

Mr Ghimire offered his "heartfelt condolences to those who've passed away and prayers to those who are still missing".

"Mountaineering in the Himalayas is in itself an adventurous, complex and sensitive issue requiring full awareness yet tragic accidents are unavoidable," he said.



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