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Everest traffic jam creates deadly conditions for climbers



Indian mountaineer Anjali Kulkarni, 55, died on her way back from climbing the summit of Mount Everest, her son Shantanu Kulkarni told CNN. She got stuck in a "traffic jam" over camp 4, which at 8,000 meters is the last camp before the summit.

American mountaineer Donald Lynn Cash, 55, also died on Wednesday after fainting from above, suffering from altitude sickness as he descended from the summit, according to the Nepalese expedition company Pioneer Adventure Pvt. Ltd.

The climber Nirmal Purja published on Wednesday on Instagram a picture of the human race on the mountain. It shows a dense track of climbers, pushing on an exposed ridge to the summit. He added that around 320 people were in the queue at the top of the mountain .

The summit of Mount Everest has a height of 8,848 meters. At this level, each breath contains only one third of the oxygen at sea level. At this altitude, the human body also deteriorates rapidly, which means that most people can spend only a few minutes up with no additional oxygenation before it becomes unbearable.

According to Shantanu Kulkarni, his mother had been trekking for over 25 years and had climbed Mount Everest for the past six years. She had made a number of major hikes, including Mt. Elbrus in Southern Russia and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and was also a keen marathon runner.

Anjali Kulkarni had an ad agency with her husband, but both retired to "realize their dream of getting up on Mount Everest," Shantanu said.

A Utah grandfather collapsed near a section of the path that was 8,770 meters high, according to Pioneer Adventure.

"Our team did their best to save his life," the company said, adding that Sherpa leaders had tried to keep him alive as they pulled him down the mountain. "Despite their best efforts to ensure the best leadership, adequate oxygenation and medical care, they could not save his life."

His children told CNN daughter KSL-TV that he had died after reaching his goal of climbing the highest mountain in every continent.

"The last message he sent me was that I feel so blessed to be on the mountain that I've read about for the past 40 years," his son Tanner Cash told KSL. His body will probably stay on Everest.

More than 200 climbers have died on the summit since 1
922, when the first mountaineers died on Everest. The majority of the bodies are said to have remained buried under glaciers or snow.

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