Mount Everest climbers die, including an American, officials say

The weekend fatalities appear related to altitude sickness and bring the death toll to five during a season marked by unpredictable weather, strong winds and unusually cold temperatures.

London, May 22 A famous feature of Mount Everest called 'The Hillary Step' has collapsed, potentially making the climb to the world's highest peak even more risky and time consuming, mountaineers have confirmed. The Sherpas believe the climbers might have died of suffocation inside the tents.

The identities of the four remained unknown as none of the expeditions on the mountain reported any of their members missing and the head of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said they may have been climbing on their own.

Dawa said two of the dead are Nepali nationals while the other two are foreigners.

Nepal's tourism department said late today they had been unable to identify the bodies.

The Nepal government liaison officer stationed at base camp could not immediately be reached for confirmation.

Nepali sherpas found the climbers last night in two tents at Camp Four, 8,000 metres above sea level.

Mosedale, who reached Everest's summit for the sixth time on May 16th, posted a photograph of what remains of the Hillary Step when he returned to base camp after the climb.

Named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the "Hillary Step" was a 12-metre high rock barrier on the South-East Ridge which is known as the final major hurdle before climbing to the peak of Everest.

Australian climber Francesco Enrico Marchetti, 54, from Queensland, died on the Chinese side of the mountain, according to the Himalayan Times newspaper. The step was a almost vertical rock face, measuring 12 meters in height (39 ft), right under the Everest peak, at 8,790 metres (28,839 ft) above sea level.

The body of Indian climber Ravi Kumar, 27, was spotted on Monday two days after he summited and then lost contact.

British mountaineer Tim Mosedale, who last week reached the summit of the world's highest mountain, said the outcrop had disappeared, likely because of a massive quake that shook Nepal in 2015.

The number of climbers who have died on Everest during the current spring climbing season, which began in March and runs through the end of this month, has now reached six.

  • Leroy Wright