Un-named Everest Sherpa gets a name - and fatality details

Posted: May 29, 2006 07:41 pm EDT

In our list of fatalities on Everest, we have earlier mentioned, "April 7, an un-named Sherpa reportedly working for 'an American team' on Everest north side became ill in ABC and died in BC. No details have been provided."

Yesterday we finally received a name and details. Russell Brice of HIMEX, has reported that April 4, 2006 at 11:40 PM, Tuk Bahadur Thapa Masar, age 32, died from complications due to HAPE or high altitude pulmonary edema. Tuk Bahadur was from the Solo Khumbu region of Nepal and was on his first expedition.

"He was found to be a very hard worker and had assisted in fixing lines to the North Col at 23,000 ft or 7000 meters. After his second ascend to the North Col, Tuk Bahadur felt ill and the decision was made for him to make a rapid decent back to BC at 17,500 ft. Once at BC his condition improved however he suddenly was afflicted by acute HAPE and died."

At the start of the 2006 spring season, Everest had been summited 2557 times. This season's good weather is expected to bring a record number of summits; up to 500. The toll has been high though, 10 fatal accidents have been confirmed, compared to the record spring season of 1996, with 12 victims. However, only Everest south side numbers are confirmed by officials.

May 23, Zhang Mingxing, the secretary General of the CTMA (the China Tibet Mountaineering Association) told Chinese news agency Xinhua that 3 mountaineers had died at the Chinese side of Everest, and named a Russian, French and a Brazilian climber.

Mr. Mingxing however 'forgot' to mention three other confirmed fatal accidents at Everest North side at the time: Swede Tomas Olsson, Briton David Sharp and a 'name-less' Sherpa.

At today's date, the north side has claimed 7 climbers, and the south side 3 plus one on the Lhotse face (shared route with Everest). Climbers on the mountain however mention 4 more fatalities on Everest North side this season, all unaccounted for.

Here is a record of the fatalities confirmed so far this season:

May 25, i Becoming completely blind on ascent, at 8800 meters, only 50 meters below the summit, Thomas Weber was turned back at 9.15 am by Harry and two Sherpas. 3 hours later, at 12:20 pm, Thomas had a collapse on the Second step (8700 m). He said, "I am dying" and lost consciousness. At 12:40 pm death was verified. Alexander Abramov provided a report the same day.

May 22, Russian Snow Leopard Igor Plyushkin, 54, complained that he didn't feel well at 7800 meters. Guides administered supplementary oxygen and adrenaline shots in a struggle for his life that lasted 1,5 hours. Igor died at 1.45 pm local time due to AMS. Expedition leader Alexander Abramov released the details the same day.

Around the weekend of May 20/21, French climber Jacques-Hugues Letrange died on descent from the summit. The French mountaineer had climbed Everest from its North side with his wife Caroline. No details have been released.

May 18, Brazilian climber Vitor Negrete perished on descent after a no 02 summit. Vitor climbed alone but managed to call his sherpa who went up and helped him to camp 3, where Vitor later died of altitude. Brazil media released the details the next day.

Vitor died only 3 days after learning that his team mate British David Sharp had vanished on his summit bid, on May 15. According to an interview with Washington Times, Double amputee Mark Inglis said that David Sharp, 34, was still alive at 28,000 feet, but was left to die at around 8000 meters by about 40 people who passed him that day. Both climbers were outfitted by Asian trekking, and climbing the north side. Asian Trekking did not provide information on the location, time or cause of David Sharp's death until May 23.

May 16, Swedish Tomas Olsson died on Everest North face in an attempt to ski down the Norton couloir with team mate Tormod Granheim. Tomas' snow anchor broke loose at a rock outcrop section and he fell from 8500 meters. Tormod free climbed down after his mate but found only gear scattered around. Details were published within 24 hours and a search party was dispatched the next day. Tomas body was discovered by a Sherpa at 6700 meters Saturday. Both climbers were unguided, sharing permit with an international group organized by Arun Treks & Expeditions.

April 21, three Sherpas died in the Everest south side icefall, in a massive serac collapse: Ang Phinjo Sherpa was hired by IMG, Lhakpa Tseri and Dawa Temba were employed by Asian Trekking on an expedition listed as led by Douglas Tumminello & Apa Sherpa (Team No Limit) climbing the south side. Details were released by IMG the same morning.

April 4, 2006 at 11:40 PM, Tuk Bahadur Thapa Masar, age 32, died from complications due to HAPE or high altitude pulmonary edema. Tuk Bahadur was from the Solo Khumbu region of Nepal and was on his first expedition. After his second ascent to the North Col, Tuk Bahadur felt ill and the decision was made for him to make a rapid decent back to BC at 17,500 ft. Once at BC his condition improved however he suddenly was afflicted by acute HAPE and died.

May 5, Czech climber Pavel Kalny fell to his death on the Lhotse wall (shared route with Everest south side). Pavel Kalny climbed with seasoned Czech climber Martin Minarik at the time of the fall. Pavel was found the next day by a team of Sherpas and a Chilean doctor who helped him down, but the climber died short of camp 3. Details from Martin are expected this week.

In terms of fatalities, the 2006 Everest season is now second only to the 1996 spring season which claimed 12 lives.


#Mountaineering


At today's date, the north side has claimed 7 climbers, and the south side 3 plus one on the Lhotse face. Climbers on the mountain however report 4 more fatalities on Everest North side this season, all unaccounted for. Image of Buddhist candles in Kathmandu, ExplorersWeb files.


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