Everest 2023: Another Everest Death, More Summits and Frostbite

Another death on Everest brings the climbing death toll to eight, nine if you count the person who died in Lukla but intended to climb. Close to another 100 summited Friday, May 19th taking the total close to 300, with hundreds more to go as the weather window begins to close.

Malaysian Ag Askandar Bin Ampuan Yaacub, got above South Sumit, then became ill. Sherpas tried to get him back to Camp 4 before losing his life, according to The Himalayan Times. He was climbing with Nepali operator Pioneer Adventures.

The climbing continued after being delayed only a few hours by the problem in the Icefall, according to Lukas Furtenbach of Furtenbach Adventures. Lukas also told me that he was pleased with his Flash members (Everest and Lhotse) as it took 22 days for the expedition, despite waiting for weather in base camp for a full week. He also noted more theft, with some oxygen cylinders stolen at the south col, despite being locked.

Altitude Junkies got their team of ten to the summit, with Phil Crampton getting his 10th Everest summit. Crampton was instrumental in training Tibetans at the CTMA in Lhasa for years. With his boutique guide service based out of Kathmandu and New York, Phil has led over fifty expeditions to 8000-meter peaks, including climbing Everest eight times on the Tibet side and ten on the Nepal side.

Alexander Abramov of the 7 Summits Club got his tenth Everest summit leading a team of six members supported by twelve Sherpas, a 1:2 ratio. Kaitu Expedition put ten Chinese climbers and eleven Sherpa members on the summit. They had twenty-three Chinese clients. Climbing the Seven Summits summited six clients supported by ten Sherpas.

But not everyone summited as planned. Kobler & Parter turned back because of high winds and cold temperatures:

While we are already complaining here at 10 ° that it is too cold, our team on Mount Everest is struggling with completely different temperatures unfortunately it prevailed at 8’500 meters on the planned summit day during the great cold there were still so strong winds that our group decided to turn back. Everyone is currently in Basecamp and recovering.
Reports of frostbite are becoming more common. In my view, there is zero excuse for getting frostbite in 2023. With the advances in weather forecasting, no one should climb in extreme conditions. With the clothing, glove and boot technology improving, again, there is no reason to lose toes or fingers unless the climber makes a mistake, which is avoidable through experience. And the body stays warmer with supplemental oxygen running at 6 lpm.
The winds look high starting on May 20th, questionable on the 21st and 22nd so perhaps the last window of this season will be May 23rd and 24th.

The remaining teams on their summit push include Asian Trekking, Alpine Ascents, Adventure Consultants, Madison Mountaineering, Summit Climb, and several Nepali operators.


From 1922 to May 20, 2023, 192 members and 125 Sherpas have died on Everest on both sides by all routes. The top causes of death for all 323 deaths include avalanche (78), falls (72), Acute Mountain Sickness-AMS (38), exhaustion (28), illness-non AMS (27), and exposure (26).

This spring season is well above the historical average of four. The top years for deaths on both sides, by all routes, were 2014 (16), 1996 (15), 2015 (13), 2019 (11), 1982 (11), and 1988 (10). These are the deaths during this 2023 spring season:

1-3. On April 12: Tenjing Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa, and Badure Sherpa, all working for Nepali operator Imagine Nepal, died when the upper section of the Icefall collapsed

4. May 1: American Jonathan Sugarman, 69, died at Camp 2 climbing with American operator International Mountain Guides (IMG)

5. May 16: Phurba Sherpa passed away near Yellow Band above Camp 3. He was part of the Nepal Army Mountain Clean-up campaign

6. May 17: Moldovan climber Victor Brinza died at the South Col with Nepali operator Himalayan Traverse Adventure

7. May 18: Xuebin Chen, 52, died near the South Summit with Nepali operator 8K Expeditions

8. May 20: Malaysian Ag Askandar Bin Ampuan Yaacub, got above South Sumit, then became ill and died. He was climbing with Nepali operator Pioneer Adventures.

9. May 18: There was another death, Indian Suzanne Leopoldina Jesus, 59, who intended to climb Everest but left EBC ill and died in Lukla, so not technically a climbing death.


David Goettler is ready to try The climbing season in Pakistan has begun with Nanga Parbat with David Goettler and Ben Vedrines on Nanga Pparbat.

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