The moment Sherpas desperately tried to rescue Indian woman, 54, who collapsed and died on crowded Everest – three years after exposing lies of rival couple who used Photoshop to fake ascent
- Anjali Sharad Kulkarni, from Mumbai, was among three Indians who died trying to scale the peak last week
- Harrowing footage shows the 54-year-old mountaineer struggling on the snow and being held by Sherpas
- Kulkarni, who was on Everest with her husband, was coming down to Camp IV on the South Col of mountain
- In 2016, she exposed an infamous couple, Dinesh and Tarkeshwari Rathod, who faked their ascend of Everest
Harrowing footage shows Sherpas desperately trying to rescue an Indian woman who collapsed and died on Everest – three years after exposing the Photoshop lies of a couple you faked their own ascent.
Anjali Sharad Kulkarni, 54, from Mumbai was among three Indians who died after attempting to scale the peak amid chaos on the mountain which has seen 11 deaths this season.
Kulkarni, a mountaineer with 25 years experience, can be seen flailing weakly on the snow as a team of Sherpas attempt to keep her attached to their rope last Thursday.
In 2016, Kulkarni helped to expose Dinesh and Tarkeshwari Rathod, the Indian police officer couple who infamously made fake photos of their Everest ascent.
Harrowing footage shows Anjali Sharad Kulkarni, 54, from Mumbai struggling on the ice as her Sherpas try to keep her attached to their rope last Thursday
Kulkarni can be seen flailing weakly on the ground as the Sherpas desperately try to keep hold of her arm
Anjali Sharad Kulkarni left and Sharad Kulkarni on Mount Lobuje – she had been visiting with her husband. He was able to ascend and make his way down, but his wife died
Indian police officers Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod who claimed they were the first couple to conquer Everest Photoshopped their snaps, pictured is the edited version
She had told Buzzfeed at the time: ‘[The Rathods] done some minor training on the ice pinnacles near Everest base camp.
‘However, neither had done the training necessary for the climb. If a team has not started acclimatisation until May 10, it is close to impossible to reach the summit on May 23 unless the Rathods are superhuman fitness stars.’
The 11 climbers who have died on Everest in the past nine days
May 16: Irish professor Séamus Lawless went missing on May 16 after reportedly falling.
The search operation has since been called off and he is presumed dead.
Friday: Irishman Kevin Hynes, 56, passed away on the northern Tibet part of the mountain.
The father-of-two died in his tent at 23,000ft on the descent after turning back before reaching the top.
Saturday: Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, collapsed and died only 150m from the peak.
Last week: Four Indians, one Austrian, one American and one person from Nepal died on Everest.
Monday: Christopher John Kulish, a 62-year-old American lawyer, died suddenly on his descent at South Col after scaling the normal Southeast Ridge route.
For an experienced climber like Kulkarni this was the ultimate crime and the couple were later subject to a professional inquiry for their conduct.
Kulkarni also told how she went on another climbing expedition with the Rathods in Australia when they also made false claims about their ascents.
The mother-of-two had dedicated herself to training for Everest and experience in mountains across the world.
Kulkarni was on Everest with her husband Sharad Kulkarni when she died.
Lhakpa Sherpa of Arun Treks and Expeditions, said his client died of weakness while coming down to Camp IV on the South Col of Everest.
More than 120 climbers went up the 29,000 ft mountain last Thursday, with many being caught in long queues in the freezing wind and thin air.
Nihal Ashpak Bagwan, 27, from India’s western city of Pune and Kalpana Das, 49, from India’s eastern state of Odisha, also died on Thursday during their descents from the peak.
‘Bagwan died of dehydration, exhaustion and tiredness after being caught in the jam of climbers,’ said Keshab Paudel of the Peak Promotion hiking agency that handled the climber’s logistics.
This year’s Everest toll is the highest since 2014-15 when huge earthquakes triggered devastating avalanches.
Anjali Sharad Kulkarni, 54, was on Everest with her husband Sharad Kulkarni when she died. The couple are pictured in 2016
Anjali Sharad Kulkarni (pictured with her husband in an earlier climb), 54, from Mumbai was among three Indians who died after attempting to scale the peak amid chaos on the mountain which has seen 11 deaths this season
Last week a Canadian climber posted a picture of crowds attempting to reach the summit stepping over a dead body (circled)
A photo taken last week on Everest shows heavy traffic of climbers lining up to stand at the summit of Everest
The route up the mountain includes several large obstacles and a huge moving glacier near to base camp as shown in the map above
Everest ‘Death Zone’
The death zone is the name used by mountain climbers for high altitudes where there is not enough available oxygen for humans to breathe – this is usually above 8,000 metres – 26,247ft.
Most of the 200+ climbers who have died on Mount Everest have died in the death zone – often on the descent – where experts say there is a risk of switching of because of the achievement of reaching the top.
At the top of Mount Everest, the average person takes in about 30 percent of the oxygen in the air that they would take in at sea level.
Therefore, a human used to breathing air at sea level could only be there for a few minutes before they became unconscious.
Most climbers have to carry oxygen bottles to be able to reach the top.
Those who suffer in the ‘death zone’ quickly become weak and lose the ability to think straight and struggle making decisions, especially under stress.
Climbers have described some who died in the ‘death zone’ as sitting down for a rest and then never getting up.
British climber Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, died in the ‘death zone’ – known for low oxygen levels – on his descent on Saturday after speaking of his worries about overcrowding on the world’s highest mountain.
In one of his last social media posts, he told of how he had changed his plans in order to avoid the ‘fatal’ crowds.
He said: ‘With a single route to the summit, delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game.’
Mr Fisher was described as an ‘aspirational adventurer’ who ‘lived life to the full’ in a statement from his family.
Mr Fisher was the tenth fatality on Everest in the current climbing season that ends this month and the 18th in Nepal’s Himalayas in the same period.
Irish climber Kevin Hynes, 56, died in his tent at 7,000 metres in the early hours of Friday after turning back before reaching the summit.
The father-of-two was part of a group from UK-based climbing company 360 Expeditions which was attempting to scale Everest.
His death comes a week after Trinity College professor Seamus Lawless, aged 39 and from Bray, Co Wicklow, fell during his descent from the peak having achieved a lifetime ambition of reaching the summit.
Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, died in the ‘death zone’ of Mount Everest – known for its low oxygen levels and had previously told of his worries around overcrowding on the mountain
Seamus Lawless 39, from Bray, Ireland, fell during his descent from the peak having achieved a lifetime ambition of reaching the summit. Above: Mr Lawless after scaling Alaska’s 20,000-ft Mount Denali last summer
Colorado resident Christopher John Kulish, 62, became the 11th person to die descending the world’s highest peak in the space of 10 days on Monday, after scaling the 29,035-foot peak from the normal Southeast Ridge route
The search for Mr Lawless has been called off.
Meanwhile, Colorado resident Christopher John Kulish, 62, became the 11th person to die descending the world’s highest peak in the space of 10 days on Monday, after scaling the 29,035-foot peak from the normal Southeast Ridge route.
He died suddenly at South Col after his descent and the cause of his death remains unclear.
His family said in a touching statement: ‘We are heartbroken by the news. Chris, who turned 62 in April, went up with a very small group in nearly ideal weather after the crowds of last week had cleared Everest.
The other American to tragically die on the mountain was Donald Lynn Cash, 55, who collapsed after reaching the summit. Two accompanying Sherpa guides helped him to regain consciousness but he later died on the descent.
An Austrian climber and two Indian climbers are also reported to have died, while an Australian climber is fighting for his life after being found unconscious about 7,500m on the northern slopes.
Record numbers of climbers are cramming on to the piste during the spring season’s good weather.
There are 41 teams with a total of 378 climbers permitted to scale the mountain during the spring climbing season in Nepal that begins around March.
An equal number of Nepalese guides are helping them get to the summit.
Mountaineers call for a limit on Everest permits to end ‘dangerous climbing conditions’ caused by overcrowding
Nepal’s reluctance to limit the number of permits it issues to scale Mount Everest has contributed to dangerous overcrowding, with inexperienced climbers impeding others and causing deadly delays, seasoned mountaineers said.
During the short period this season when the weather was clear enough to attempt the summit, climbers were crammed crampon-to-crampon above South Col’s sharp-edged ridge, all clipped onto a single line of rope, trudging toward the top of the world and risking death as each minute ticked by.
‘There were more people on Everest than there should be,’ said Kul Bahadur Gurung, general secretary of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, an umbrella group of all expedition operators in Nepal.
Once only accessible to well-heeled elite mountaineers, Nepal’s booming climbing market has driven down the cost of an expedition, opening Everest up to hobbyists and adventure-seekers. They are required to have a doctors’ note deeming them physically fit, but not to prove their stamina at such extreme heights.
There are currently no restrictions on how many permits are issued by the Nepali government. Climbers can also access the mountain from the Chinese side
Because of the altitude, climbers have just hours to reach the top before they are at risk of a pulmonary edema, when the lungs fill with liquid. From Camp Four at 8,000 meters (26,240 feet) to the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak, the final push on Everest is known as the ‘death zone.’
The conditions are so intense at such times that when a person dies, no one can afford to expend energy on carrying the body down from the mountain.
‘Every minute counts there,’ said Eric Murphy, a mountain guide from Bellingham, Washington, who climbed Everest for a third time on May 23. He said what should have taken 12 hours took 17 hours because of struggling climbers who were clearly exhausted but had no one to guide or help them.
Just a handful of inexperienced climbers, he said, is ‘enough to have a profound effect.’
Nepal doesn’t have any regulations on the books to determine how many permits should be issued, so anyone with a doctor’s note can obtain one for a $11,000 fee, said Mohan Krishna Sapkota, secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation.
This year, permits were issued to 381 people, the highest number ever, according to the government. They were accompanied by an equal number of guides from Nepal’s ethnic Sherpa community. Some climbers were originally issued permits in 2014 that were revoked mid-season when 16 Sherpa guides died in an avalanche and other Sherpas, whose support as guides and porters is essential, effectively went on strike.
Another factor was China’s limit on the number of permits it issued for routes in its territory on the north side of Everest this year for a clean-up. Both the north and south sides of the mountain are littered with empty oxygen canisters, food packaging and other debris.
Instead of limiting the number of people who attempt to reach Everest’s peak, Saptoka said Nepal’s government will encourage even more tourists and climbers to come ‘for both pleasure and fame.’
Mirza Ali, a Pakistani mountaineer and tour company owner who reached Everest’s peak for the first time this month, on his fourth attempt, said such an approach was flawed.
‘Everybody wants to stand on top of the world,’ but tourists unprepared for the extremes of Everest endanger the entire industry, he said.
‘There is not a sufficient check on issuing the permits,’ Ali said. ‘The more people come, the more permits, more business. But on the other side it is a lot of risk because it is costing lives.’
Indian climber Ameesha Chauhan, recovering from frostbitten toes at a hospital in Kathmandu, described the agony of turning away from the peak when she realized her supplemental oxygen supply was low.
Two of her team members died on the May 16 ascent. She returned and scaled the peak a week later.
‘Many climbers are too focused on reaching the summit,’ she said. ‘They are not only risking themselves but also putting others at risk.’
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