Mount Everest: 30 More Climbers Sick After Two Deaths

Everest
A view of Mount Everest towering over the Nupse-Lohtse massif from the village of Tembuche, in the Khumbu region of northeastern Nepal, April 20, 2015. A number of people are reported sick after two deaths on the mountain in recent weeks. Roberto Schmidt/Getty

About 30 climbers have suffered frostbite or become ill on Mount Everest after two others died, apparently from altitude sickness, the BBC reports.

A Dutch man and an Australian woman died while descending from the summit of Mount Everest, which marks the first deaths this year on the world's highest mountain.

Eric Arnold, 35, had enough bottled oxygen with him, as well as climbing partners, but he complained of getting weak and died Friday night near South Col before he was able to get to a lower altitude, said Pasang Phurba of the Seven Summit Treks agency in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Just hours after Arnold died, Australian climber Maria Strydom, a finance lecturer at Monash University's business school in Melbourne, also showed signs of altitude sickness Saturday afternoon before she died, Phurba said.

Two Indian climbers have also been reported missing in the mountain's so-called “death zone” near the summit.

But the mountain's most successful female climber reached the summit for the seventh time on Friday.

Experts say it is not unusual for altitude sickness to claim some lives on Everest.

This is the first climbing season for two years, after an earthquake in Nepal killed at least 18 people on the mountain last year and 16 guides were killed in an avalanche in 2014, leading to protests that prematurely ended that season.

With the mountain open again, climbers have been taking advantage of good conditions in large numbers, with nearly 400 reaching the summit from the Nepalese side since 11 May.