According to a new report, due to global warming melting glaciers on Mount Everest are revealing more and more bodies of dead climbers. Almost 300 lives have been lost to the frozen peaks of Everest since the first attempt to conquer the mountain in 1921. Recent expeditions to recover some bodies have sparked heated debate in the about the morality of risking more lives to retrieve bodies from one of the most unforgiving places on Earth.
Donald Cash, 55, was taking photos after he reached the top of the mountain in Nepal when he fell, AFP reported. He was brought to an area near the Hillary Step, a well-known rock and the last — and most difficult — obstacle before climbers reach the pinnacle, but later died.
Donald Cash, 55, reportedly died on Wednesday after scaling Mount Everest.
Cash was one of more than 200 people who were trekking up the mountain to the 29,035-foot peak on Wednesday, as hikers were trying to make the most of the nice weather. There are only a few windows of good weather each May that allows climbers the best chance of reaching the summit.
Another person, identified as 55-year-old Anjali Kulkarni, also died descending Everest. Traffic was so busy at the summit that her descent down Everest was delayed, and she died, her expedition organizer told AFP.
Climbers in Utah said news of Cash’s death was difficult to accept.
“Any time you have anything like this in a climb, it just breaks your heart,” Dave Roskelley, who made it to the summit of Mount Everest in 2013, told KTSU. Roskelley said that he and other climbers gave Cash advice on the journey earlier this year.
He said that when he climbed, his expedition group “sat for about 45 minutes waiting for people to come up. It’s kind of a first come, first served. It’s really difficult up there.”
Roskelley described Cash as “a go-getter,” and said that, “Knowing him, he’s probably happy that’s where his body will be laid to rest.”
During the spring climbing season, 41 teams with 378 climbers are permitted to scale Everest. An equal number of Nepalese guides help them get to the summit.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.