Friday 18 October 2019

Second Irish climber dies on Everest as the mission to recover first victim continues

Mountaineer Kevin Hynes, from Galway, who died on the descent from Mount Everest. Picture courtesy of RTÉ
Mountaineer Kevin Hynes, from Galway, who died on the descent from Mount Everest. Picture courtesy of RTÉ
Mountain climbers lining up to stand at the summit of Mount Everest. Photo: AFP PHOTO / PROJECT POSSIBLE
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

A second Irish climber has died on Everest in just over a week.

Kevin Hynes, from Galway, died on Everest while attempting to scale the world's highest peak from the Tibetan side early yesterday 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," 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 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 the search has since been reclassified as a recovery mission.

It is reported Mr Hynes had reached Camp III at 8,300m on Wednesday.

"Yesterday, while our summit climbers were heading higher, Kevin started his descent. He was accompanied by experienced guide, Dawa Sangee, who himself has summited Everest South twice, Everest North and Makalu twice," the statement said.

It is understood Mr Hynes passed away in his tent at 7,000 metres in the early hours of yesterday morning. The experienced climber was married with two children. Efforts were under way to bring his body to base camp, officials said.

Meanwhile, three more climbers have died on the overcrowded slopes after a run of clear weather saw mountaineers stuck for hours in a high-altitude human traffic jam.

Thursday's deaths followed two other deaths the day before which were blamed on the tailbacks to reach the 8,848m (29,030ft) peak.

Local media identified the three new victims as two Indians and an Austrian.

Kalpana Das, a 49-year-old from Odisha; Nihal Ashpak Bagwan, a 27-year-old from Pune; and Ing (Ernst) Landgraf died on their descent.

It brings the toll of dead or missing this week to six.

Mountaineering has become a lucrative business for Nepal since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made the first ascent of Everest in 1953.

This year is likely to be a busy year for people reaching the summit.

The Himalayan nation has issued a record 381 permits, costing $11,000 (€9,800) each, for this year's spring climbing season, sparking fears of bottlenecks en route to the summit.

Irish Independent

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