27-year-old Indian climber Ravi Kumar goes missing
Mt Everest has claimed its fourth victim in 22 days after two mountaineers-an American and a Slovakian-died near the summit of the world's tallest peak on Sunday.
Meanwhile, a 27-year-old Indian climber Ravi Kumar has been missing from so called 'balcony' (8,400 metre), near the summit, since Saturday after his successful ascent of Mt Everest.
The chances of his survival are slim, as over 24 hours have elapsed since he went missing in the extreme climate, mountaineering officials said.
With this death toll, 45 people have lost their lives on Mt Everest in the last four years.
The 50-year-old American physician, Roland Yearwood, died at 'balcony' (8,400 metres) on Sunday, said Gyanendra Shrestha, an official of the Tourism Ministry.
He was a part of the 15-member team of SummitClimb Everest Expedition 2017 led by Daniel Lee Mazur.
The 49-year-old Slovakian solo climber Vladimir Strba died at Camp IV on Sunday afternoon.
Strba, holder of passport No.BA8369477, had sustained serious injuries due to frostbite.
"The reason for Yearwood's death is yet to be confirmed," he said.
However, initial report suggests he may have suffered altitude sickness-also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS)-a pathological effect of high altitude on humans caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude.
Yearwood, holding passport No. 552705032, had returned to Nepal after an earthquake-triggered avalanche on April 25, 2015 prevented him from climbing the mountain.
His body which has been left stranded at 8,400 metres is difficult to bring down.
"The issue is complicated. It's too much risk to bring his body down. It's extremely difficult and dangerous," said Murari Krishna Sharma, managing director of Everest Parivar Expedition, the agency that handled Yearwood's expedition.
"However, we will consult with his family members and high-altitude guides to assess whether we can take a risk."
Given the risks involved in spending so much time at high altitudes, many climbing teams decide not to bring down the dead bodies.
Nearly 300 people have died on Mt Everest since the first ascent to the peak was made in 1953.
It is estimated that more than 200 dead bodies are still lying on the mountain.
Meanwhile, whereabouts of Indian climber Kumar is unknown. "Search and rescue efforts are underway," said Chowang Sherpa, managing director of Arun Treks and Expedition, the handling agency of Kumar's expedition.
"It was a wrong timing. The expedition began late and the Indian climber with his Sherpa guide reached the summit at 1:28pm on Saturday."
He said the Indian climber had forced the guide to push for summit even though it was not the appropriate time for climbing.
"We had clearly directed our guides to return if they were unable to reach the summit before 11am," said Chowang.
Lack of oxygen coupled with extreme temperatures and weather later in the afternoon creates a greater risk of death on the mountain.
According to Chowang, the Indian climber had collapsed at 8pm due to low level of energy and oxygen when they were descending from the summit.
The Sherpa guide then left the Indian climber at the balcony with supplementary oxygen after he failed to walk.