DANGER ZONE

3 Mt. Everest Climbers Die in 3 Days

A third person has died in as many days climbing Mount Everest, with a 43-year-old Indian mountaineer, Subash Paul, reportedly succumbing to exhaustion early Monday. An Australian woman and a Dutch national have also died since Friday due to altitude sickness in the “death zone”—an area with such thin air that few can survive without extra oxygen. The deaths have caused some to publicly question the safety standards for climbing operations and others to question guide-company practices, arguing that local outfitters competing for business may be loosening preparations. Nepal Mountaineering Association Chief Ang Tshering Sherpa said: “Many climbers without any experience crowd Everest every year, and companies often use poor quality equipment... offering cheap packages to clients who are exposed to security risks.” But tourism official Sudarshan Dhakal said “the deaths were not due to accident or the crowd.” He added, “Energy loss and altitude sickness mean that they were not well prepared.”