Everest: British man among latest mountain deaths

Image source, Handout
Image caption,
Robin Fisher was descending from the summit of Everest when he collapsed

A British man died on Saturday minutes after summiting Mount Everest, bringing to 10 the total death toll this season on the world's highest peak.

Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, reportedly fell ill while descending from the summit. An Irish man, Kevin Hynes, also died on Everest on Friday.

Nepal is facing scrutiny for issuing a record 381 permits, at $11,000 (£8,600) each, for this year's Spring season.

There have been reports of overcrowding and queuing climbers near the summit.

What happened after British climber began his descent?

Mr Fisher made it to Everest's summit on Saturday morning but collapsed and died only 150m down from the peak, his expedition company confirmed.

Guides tried to help Mr Fisher after he "suddenly fell down", Murari Sharma of Everest Parivar Expedition said.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
The recent death toll has already eclipsed the total for 2018

Despite efforts to wake him and to give him oxygen and water, the climber remained unresponsive and guides radioed their base camp to confirm he had died just 45 minutes after Mr Fisher had stood atop the mountain.

Reports said one of his Sherpa guides had also complained of feeling ill, and was rescued to a lower camp.

A statement from the Birmingham-based British climber's family paid tribute to an "aspirational adventurer" who "lived life to the full".

"We are deeply saddened by his loss as he still had so many more adventures and dreams to fulfil, the statement added. "Everyone who ever met him in any capacity will always remember the positive impact he had on their lives."

Image source, AFP/ Project Possible
Image caption,
In total 20 have died in this year's Spring season on the region's mountains

Who else had died on Everest this week?

Kevin Hynes, 56, from Ireland died on Friday on the northern Tibet side of the mountain.

The father-of-two passed away in his tent at 7,000m (23,000ft) after turning back before reaching the mountain's peak.

Other deaths from this week include four people from India, one person from Nepal, an Austrian and an American.

A second Irish man, professor Séamus Lawless, is presumed dead after falling on the mountain last week.

In a statement on Friday, his family said that the search for his body had been called off in order to not endanger others.

Why have there been so many fatalities?

There are some 41 teams with 378 climbers who have permits to climb Everest during the spring climbing season in Nepal.

That season lasts about three months and generally runs from March through May, and is usually a time when the weather is relatively warmer, views clearer and the chances of snow and rain lower.

However, conditions this year have been worse than usual, with high winds leaving a large number of climbers a narrow time frame to reach the summit.

This has led to long queues at difficult points on the mountain, exposing climbers to physically taxing conditions for longer than expected.

Rising numbers of people climbing - and dying - on Everest has led for calls for permits to be limited.

The number of people climbing Everest in 2019 could - after the busy autumn climbing season - exceed last year's record of 807 people reaching the summit.