Everest 2023: More Everest Summits, Seventh Death, Soria Rescued

Another death on Everest brings the climbing death toll to seven. A collapse in the Icefall has stalled climbers going up and down until the Icefall Docs can fix the route. More than thirty-four summited on Thursday, May 18th, bringing the season total to over 200.

As I reported yesterday, a problem in the Icefall, reportedly another release of the hanging serac on Everest’s West Shoulder, has stopped teams from leaving EBC for their summit bids. Adventure Consultants reports:

The weather has settled, C4 is in, all the O2 is in place, and we’re ready to go! We actually went. Unfortunately, the route up the Ice Fall was blocked this morning, so we came back. This was intensity disappointing but like all things in the mountains, patience is a requirement. The Ice Fall Doctors have headed up to sort the problem so we should have access tomorrow. We were lucky in having only walked for half an hour before hearing the news. Some folks went significantly further. So for us it’s a rinse and repeat, up again at midnight to head up the Western Cwm to C2.

Xuebin Chen, 52, died near the South Summit, according to a brief mention in the Himalayan Times. The cause of death was a fall, according to people with Chen.They went on to report that two climbers – one Chinese and another Mongolian were being rescued from the balcony area. Chinese nationals often climb Everest from the Nepal side because China requires their nationals to have climbed an 8000er before attempting Everest. In general, the Chinese climbers come very prepared.

Thus far, the seven deaths include three Sherpas who were killed when the upper section of the Icefall collapsed. On April 12, 2023, Tenjing Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa, and Badure Sherpa, all working for Imagine Nepal, died. American Jonathan Sugarman, 69, died at Camp 2 on Everest on Tuesday, May 1. He was with the American guide service International Mountain Guides (IMG). Phurba Sherpa passed away near Yellow Band above Camp 3. He was part of the Nepal Army Mountain Clean-up campaign. And Moldovan climber Victor Brinza with Himalayan Traverse Adventure died at the South Col on May 17.

There was another death, Indian Suzanne Leopoldina Jesus, 59, who intended to climb Everest “at all costs” but left EBC and died in Lukla, so not technically a climbing death.

Seven Summits treks noted they managed twelve summits equally split between clients and Sherpas. IMG also noted summits but no names or numbers, but there are at least eleven supported by at least one personal Sherpa at a minimum.

Carlos Soris, 84, who broke his leg on Dhaulagiri, was successfully helicoptered to a hospital in Kathmandu. And Norwegian Kristin Harila, 37, summited Kanchenjunga getting her fourth 8000ers in twenty-three days. She was supported by Tenjen (Lama) Sherpa and Gelu Sherpa

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