Sherpa guide dies of head injuries on Everest

Mount Everest seen from the mountain's base camp on April 26, 2018.
Mount Everest seen from the mountain's base camp on April 26, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

KATHMANDU (AFP) - An experienced sherpa guide has died after falling into a crevasse on Everest, officials said Tuesday (May 22), the fourth confirmed fatality of the spring climbing season on the world's highest mountain.

Damai Sarki Sherpa, 37, was helping a foreign climber to a rescue helicopter at Everest's Camp Two when he slipped and fell more than 60 metres.

He was pulled out alive but suffered severe head injuries and was airlifted from the 6,474-metre (21,240 foot) location Monday evening.

Poor visibility forced the helicopter to land in Namche Bazaar, a town in the Everest region that lacks proper medical facilities, where the guide died overnight.

"He was rescued but had a very bad head injury. He died last night," Gyanendra Shrestha, a government official at Everest base camp, told AFP.

Sherpa was an experienced climber and an internationally certified mountaineering guide - one of just 58 Nepalis to hold the prestigious qualification.

His death is the fourth on the 8,848-metre mountain this month. Hundreds of climbers arrive each spring when lower winds and warmer temperatures open the route to the top of the world.

Around 400 people have reached Everest's summit so far this year, climbing from both the southern side in Nepal and the north in Tibet.

Everest has become a lucrative business but the rapid growth of the climbing industry has sparked complaints of overcrowding on the mountain, and fears that too many inexperienced mountaineers are attempting the challenging ascent.