Climbers stranded on Everest after part of ridge collapses | World News

A group of mountaineers found themselves immobilized at the peak of Mount Everest after an avalanche of snow and ice slid from the summit.

Observers reported the fall caused two individuals – believed to include a British national and his Nepali guide – to vanish from sight.

Imagery circulating on social media depicted a throng of climbers on the Hillary Step, a steep cliff just below Everest’s summit, at approximately 8,800 meters altitude.

The disaster unfolded when a cornice, a ledge of snow hanging over the mountain’s rim, gave way, sweeping several climbers with it down the mountainside.

Vinayak Malla, an IFMGA certified guide, described a distinct summit experience on 21 May via Instagram: “The ascent felt different than my previous climbs,” she stated. “After reaching the top and moving past the Hillary Step, we encountered slow-moving lines. Then unexpectedly, a cornice gave way just ahead. Another cornice was also directly below us.

“As it fell, four climbers were nearly lost but managed to self-rescue as they were attached to safety ropes. Unfortunately, we still have two climbers missing. We attempted to cross over, but it was hindered by the line congestion.”

Image:
Pic: Instagram / @malla.mountaineer

Dan Paterson, a 40-year-old climber from Britain, and his guide, Pastenji Sherpa, aged 23, remain unaccounted for after the incident.

The head of 8K Expeditions, the expedition service used by the two, acknowledged the search that took place after their “heroic” ascent to Everest’s peak at 4:40 am local time. “Despite extensive rescue efforts, it is with a heavy heart we report that Daniel and Pastenji could not be located,” reflected Lakpa Sherpa.

A crowdfunding effort initiated by Paterson’s partner, Becks Woodhead, has garnered over £88,000 to support the search for the British mountaineer.

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Concerns over the perilous congestion on Everest have intensified, with reports attributing the rising fatalities to overcrowding and climatic shifts making the ascent more hazardous.

Kul Bahadur Gurung, Secretary of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, conveyed his concerns in 2019, a year with 11 recorded fatalities in the March-May climbing duration, saying, “The volume of climbers on Everest was excessive.”

At least 12 deaths while climbing Everest were registered last year, ranks the year as having the fourth-largest death toll in the mountain’s recorded history, according to the publication Outside.

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