On Tuesday, four unidentified climbers were found dead inside their tents near base camp IV on Mount Everest according to the Himalayan Times, just days after a weekend in which four other climbers lost their lives on the mountain.
Per the Himalayan Times, Sherpa climbers spotted the bodies of the four deceased mountaineers at camp IV — which stands at 26,000 feet in elevation and is the closest camp to Everest’s peak — while searching for another body to recover. The Himalayan Times reports that the bodies belong to two Nepali climbers and two foreigners.
According to Reuters, at present, officials have not been able to identify the deceased climbers because none of the climbing expeditions currently on the mountain have reported any missing members. Nepalese climbing officials believe that means the climbers may have been scaling the mountain on their own without the help of a guide service.
“It is possible that some individual climbers obtained permits and were climbing without much support due to the cost factor,” Ang Tshering Sherpa, the president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, told Reuters.
As for how the climbers died, Tshering Sherpa told Reuters he believes they may have been operating a camp stove improperly.
“It was windy and very cold in the mountain [Tuesday],” Tshering Sherpa told Reuters. “It appears they died due to suffocation as they must have been using a stove to keep warm inside the tent.”
The latest reported fatalities on Mount Everest bring the death total for the past month on the mountain to 10, which the Weather Channel reports is about four more than average for this time of year. Tshering Sherpa told The Weather Channel that unseasonably harsh weather might be to blame for the recent rash of deaths.
“This year it was colder, windy and snowed much more than in previous years,” Tshering Sherpa, told the Weather Channel. “Even now climbers are struggling with weather.”
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