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18 Jun 2019 6:04
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  •   Home > News > International

    Australian climber recovering in Nepalese hospital after being rescued on Mount Everest

    An Australian man is recovering in a Kathmandu hospital after he was discovered unconscious on the Tibetan side of Mount Everest.


    An Australian man is recovering in a Nepalese hospital after he was discovered unconscious on the Tibetan side of Mount Everest.

    Chinese media reported an Australian climber was found by Tibetan rescuers on the northern slopes of Mount Everest on Wednesday, at an altitude of 7,500 metres.

    On the Nepalese or south side of the mountain, Everest's Camp 3 is located at 7,200m, while Camp 4, also called South Col, is at 7,950m.

    The man was reported to be in a critical condition, but has since stabilised.

    In a statement provided to the ABC, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was "providing consular assistance to an Australian man hospitalised in Kathmandu".

    A record number of climbers have died or gone missing on Mount Everest since the beginning of the season, with stunning images emerging of a human traffic jam on the southern Nepalese side of the mountain.

    Canadian documentary filmmaker Elia Saikaly posted an Instagram post last week on top of the Mount Everest summit describing the trek to the top as "completely insane".

    "I cannot believe what I saw up there. Death. Carnage. Chaos. Line-ups. Dead bodies on the route and in tents at camp 4. People who I tried to turn back who ended up dying. People being dragged down. Walking over bodies," he wrote in the post.

    "Everything you read in the sensational headlines all played out on our summit night."

    Blogger Alan Arnette, who writes about the climbs, deaths, and conditions on Mount Everest each season, wrote last week would go down "as one of the best and worst in Everest history".

    "Over 500 people summited but it was not without cost, 10 people died, many of which were avoidable in my view," he wrote.

    He said he believed there were four reasons for the amount of deaths on Everest this season: too few summit windows; too many people; too many inexperienced climbers; and inadequate support for climbers.

    American mountaineer Jake Norton, who was part of the search group that found George Mallory's body on Everest in 1999 and has summitted the mountain multiple times, said he is surprised more fatalities don't occur on the Nepalese side of Everest.

    "This sounds crass, but I'm surprised more people didn't die; when you get situations like that it's such a pressure cooker of danger," he said.

    "People have got a limited supply of oxygen so the more time you wait, generally you're going to turn down your oxygen to conserve it, that makes your body not able to run nearly as well, so you get colder, people's brains get fuzzier, decision-making gets a little bit weaker.

    "Everest has become such a money game there's so much money in it for individual outfitters, governments.

    "Nobody really wants to police it and enforce the need to have companies up here who are hiring the right people, doing things the right way."

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


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