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Nepali climber dies on Mount Everest

KATHMANDU (AFP) – A Nepali climber who summited Mount Everest several times has died on the peak, expedition organisers said yesterday, the first fatality on the world’s highest mountain this climbing season.

Ngimi Tenji Sherpa, 38, was found dead on Thursday on a trail close to an area known as the ‘football field’, a relatively safe region of the treacherous Khumbu Icefall.

“His body has been brought down. There were no accidents, and initial medical check suggests high-altitude sickness,” said Pasang Tsering Sherpa of Beyul Adventures, the local partner of United States (US)-based expedition company International Mountain Guides (IMG).

Sherpa was carrying equipment uphill to Camp 2 and was found in a sitting position, still wearing his backpack.

“The events today have been a big shock to everyone. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ngima’s family,” IMG’s expedition leader Greg Vernovage posted on the company’s website.

About a third of deaths on Everest are Nepali guides and porters, underscoring the risk they take for the dreams of hundreds of paying climbers aiming to reach the top of the world’s highest peak.

Most climbers attempting to summit the 8,848-metre mountain do so with the help of at least one guide.

For each expedition, many more make several dangerous trips to ferry tents, food and oxygen bottles to high-altitude camps.

Thursday’s incident follows the death of a Greek climber on the 8,167-metre Dhaulagiri on Tuesday.