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British climber dies on Mount Everest amid overcrowding concerns on world's highest peak

Robin Fisher’s death follows that of Irishman Kevin Hynes who died yesterday.

everest There are concerns that the drive for profits is trumping safety on Everest. Source: Project Possible/Facebook.com

A BRITISH CLIMBER has died on Mount Everest amid increasing concerns of overcrowding and congestion on the world’s highest mountain. 

Robin Fisher (44) reached the summit this morning but collapsed when he had got just 150 metres back down the slope. 

“Our guides tried to help but he died soon after,” Murari Sharma of Everest Parivar Expedition said.

On the northern Tibet side of the mountain, 56-year-old Irishman Kevin Hynes died yesterday morning, his expedition organisers confirmed in a statement on their Facebook page.

Hynes decided to return without reaching the summit but died in his tent at the North Col pass at 7,000 metres (22,965 feet). 

Four climbers from India and one each from the United States, Austria and Nepal have already died on Everest in the past week. 

Irish mountaineer Séamus Lawless is missing after he slipped and fell close to the summit. Lawless’ family have since called off the search for the Everest climber.

Safety concerns 

A traffic jam of climbers in the Everest ”death zone” has been blamed for at least four of the recent deaths, heightening concerns that the drive for profits is trumping safety. 

Nepal issued a record 381 permits for mainly foreign climbers, costing $11,000 (€9,800) each, for the spring climbing season.

Each climber with a permit is assisted by at least one sherpa, adding to the summit logjam.

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With the short window of suitable weather due to close soon, bottlenecks of scores of climbers wanting to achieve the ultimate mountaineering accolade have built up each day.

An estimated 600 people had reached the summit via the Nepal side by yesterday, a government official said, based on information from expedition organisers. 

At least 140 others have been granted permits to scale Everest from the northern flank in Tibet, according to operators. This could take the total past last year’s record of 807 people reaching the summit.

Many Himalayan mountains – including Everest - are at peak climbing season, with the good weather between late April and the end of May. 

Eight other climbers have died on other 8,000-metre-plus Himalayan peaks this season, while two are missing. 

© – AFP 2019 

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