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American climber becomes latest to die on Everest

 

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Peak hold-up: The queue to ascend the summit of Everest last week. Photo: Nirmal Purja

Peak hold-up: The queue to ascend the summit of Everest last week. Photo: Nirmal Purja

AFP/Getty Images

Peak hold-up: The queue to ascend the summit of Everest last week. Photo: Nirmal Purja

A US climber has died shortly after getting to the top of Mount Everest.

Christopher Kulish, a 62-year-old attorney from Boulder, Colorado, died on Monday at a camp below the summit.

About half a dozen climbers - including two Irishmen - died on Everest last week, most of them while descending from the world's highest peak.

Mr Kulish had just reached the top of Everest with a small group after crowds of hundreds of climbers congested the 29,035ft (8,850m) summit last week, his brother said.

He had achieved his dream of scaling the highest peaks on each of the world's seven continents.

"He saw his last sunrise from the highest peak on Earth. At that instant, he became a member of the 'Seven Summit Club,' having scaled the highest peak on each continent," Mark Kulish said in a statement.

Kevin Hynes (56) from Galway died on Everest while attempting to scale the world’s highest peak from Tibetan side early on Friday morning, according to expedition organisers.

“It is with the greatest sadness that we have to confirm that Kevin Hynes from Galway, Ireland, one of our Everest team members, has passed away,” the 360 Expeditions said in a statement reported by the Himalayan Times.

“Kevin (56) was one of the strongest and most experienced climbers on our team and had previously summited Everest South and Lhotse,” it added.

It is understood Mr Hynes lived and worked in the UK, and had previously scaled Everest in May of last year.

The death of Mr Hynes is the second Irish tragedy on the world's highest mountain in little over a week.

Father-of-one Séamus Lawless (39) from Bray, Co Wicklow, fell at an altitude of 8,300 metres while descending from the world’s highest peak on Thursday of last week.

Just hours after Mr Lawless reached the summit tragedy struck and a subsequent search was later reclassified as a recovery mission.

That search was called off on Friday.

Many climbers attempt the summit during the few windows of good weather seen each May.

Most of those who died recently are believed to have suffered from altitude sickness, which is caused by low amounts of oxygen at high elevation and can cause headaches, vomiting, shortness of breath and confusion.

British climber Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, died on Saturday as he descended from the summit.

PA Media