American Climber Among First Deaths At Mount Everest This Year

An American climber was among the first casualties on Mount Everest this year. Puwei Liu, 55, died after returning to the highest camp on the mountain at South Col. Liu made it to the Hillary Step, which is located between South Col and the summit, but had to turn around due to poor weather conditions and exhaustion.

Members of his climbing team helped him back to the camp, but he did not survive.

Another climber, Swiss national Abdul Waraich, 41, died after reaching the summit of the world's tallest mountain. He was on his way back down the mountain when he ran into trouble.

"Abdul successfully reached the summit but began experiencing issues during his descent," said Chhang Dawa of the expedition organizer, Seven Summit Treks in Nepal. "We sent two additional Sherpas with oxygen and food. Unfortunately, the Sherpas couldn't save him."

The climbing season, which runs from April-May, has seen a record number of climbers attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Authorities in Nepal have handed out a record 408 permits this year. Last year, the mountain was closed to climbers due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While May usually provides the best weather for climbers attempting to scale Everest, hikers have been forced to lower altitudes due to bad weather. Once the weather clears up, the climbers are expected to resume their attempts.

Photo: Getty Images