Sherpa climbers dead after falling into deep crevasse on Mount Everest

The bodies of the three men are yet to be recovered

The Everest base camp in the Mount Everest region of Solukhumbu district. AFP
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Three Sherpa climbers were confirmed dead on Wednesday after falling into a deep crevasse on Mount Everest.

The cavernous split in the ice is thought to reach a depth of 50 metres and the climbers are thought to have become trapped in it after an avalanche on their way between the mountain's base camp and Camp I.

The avalanche caused the icefall route between the two camps to collapse.

Mount Everest Today identified the three men as Tenjing Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa and Badure Sherpa, who were carrying out logistics for a coming expedition at an altitude of 5,700 metres.

"Three Sherpa climbers fell into some 50 metres below in a crevasse after the ice serac damaged the climbing route," an Everest base camp official told the Himalayan Times.

Helicopters circled the area where the Sherpas, incredibly skilled climbers who guide others up the world's tallest mountain and look after its trails, were last seen.

A ground team searched on foot. The bodies were found a short while later, but transporting them is proving difficult.

“Since the incident occurred under a deep ravine, our team has been unable to retrieve the bodies,” said Lakpa Sherpa, the chairman of the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee told Mount Everest Today.

The area is the Khumbu Icefall, a constantly shifting glacier with deep crevasses and huge overhanging ice that can be as big as 10-story buildings. It is considered one of the most difficult and tricky sections of the climb to the peak.

In 2014, a chunk of the glacier sheared away from the mountain, setting off an avalanche of ice that killed 16 Sherpa guides as they carried clients’ equipment up the mountain. It was one of the deadliest disasters in Everest climbing history.

Hundreds of foreign climbers and about the same number of Nepalese guides and helpers are expected to attempt to scale the 8,849-metre mountain during the main climbing season that began in March and ends at the end of May.

Updated: April 12, 2023, 4:03 PM