Skip to comments.German doctor dies on Everest clean-up
Posted on 05/21/2012 5:18:41 AM PDT by King_Corey
A German man died on Mount Everest where he was helping clear the world's highest peak of rubbish, Nepalese tourism officials announced. His death brings the season's toll to five.
The 61-year-old doctor, Eberhard Schaaf, died on Saturday of extreme altitude sickness while descending the south side of the mountain, Ang Tshering Sherpa of the Kathmandu-based Asian Trekking adventure agency said.
"Climbers spend their energy on the ascent and they are exhausted and fatigued on the descent," Tshering explained.
Daily newspaper Bild said Schaaf, a passionate mountaineer from Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, was taking part in the "Eco Everest Expedition", a clean-up operation that since 2008 has cleared over 13 tonnes of rubbish from the mountain.
But severe altitude sickness caused Schaaf to develop swelling in the brain, which killed him.
"After assessing the symptoms, the medical staff at the Himalayan Rescue Association believe the cause of death to be High Altitude Cerebral Edema," a press release from Asain Trekking said.
"Our thoughts go out to the family of the deceased at this moment and we offer any assistance at this difficult time."
The mountain, which lies in the Himalayas, Nepal, also claimed the lives of a South Korean woman and a Nepali-born Canadian woman over the weekend. A Chinese climber and Nepali mountain guide are still missing.
Sherpa said South Korean Song Won-Bin, who had been missing since Saturday, died at "The Balcony", an area near the top of the 8,848-metre (29,029-feet) peak.
Hope and pray this isn't another deadly record year for the mountain.
How many people get up there to trash the place so much? I thought it was hard to climb.
Makes no sense to me when you know that climbing and descending from the summit could kill you. I have a 100% chance of living if I don’t climb and maybe a 95% if I do climb....I’ll take the higher number please.
Well at least now it’s clean and meets environmental standards and regulations.
“How many people get up there to trash the place so much? I thought it was hard to climb.”
I have seen photos of the area. The grounds are littered with hundreds of empty oxygen bottles and gear such as sleeping and cooking utensils. The climbers don’t bother lugging their trash with them on the way down. In addition, there are dead bodies all over the place.
A few hundred people climb Everest every year and most of their trash stays where they toss it. Even experienced climbers are too exhausted after makng the ascent to do more than just climb down. After 50 years or so it adds up. From what I hear, the rubbish is mostly discarded gear, but there is a sizeable amount of organic debris, including, as someone mentioned upthread, a number of bodies.
They’re not talking about the very highest peaks. The lower camps have everything dumped on them that no one wants to carry back down the hill, O2 bottles, soggy sleeping bags, anything trash.
From some pictures I’ve seen it looks like tons of waste scattered around.
Even the summit is reportedly a trash heap. It would seem man has befouled almost every corner of the earth now.
True. In a relative sense Everest is easy to climb in comparison to K2 which is almost the same height but has no tourist type climbers.
I work at a University and you ought to see the way these ‘earth first’, enviro-wacko’s trash this place. The maintenance guys cannot keep up with it. This trash and abuse of University property is gratuitous... because there are so many waste/recycle receptacles around here that you can hardly take a step without tripping over them!
There are over 200 bodies on Everest. If you google the right search terms you can pull up some pretty eery pics.
If it hits while you are summiting your chances of survival are less than 50/50. People have sat down and died right beside the summit trail and refused to move further, beliving that they are in a whiteout blizzard on a perfectly sunny day. The SOP is to leave these cases alone, because while trying to save them additional climbers can be killed. It's a scary place.
Poor guy—he gave his life in an anti-littering effort.
I cannot even imagine climbing Mt Everest. I am a lowland girl, born and raised at sea level. At 8 thousand feet I am already in serious trouble.
And learned why all those other climbers left it in the first place. Guy was an idiot and Darwin claimed him.
I will stay below 5k.
Into Thin Air. People pay tens of thousands of dollars to climb and what’s a water bottle tossed by the side of the trail? btw, although the book was interesting, by the end of it, I sort of wanted all of the climbers to jump off a cliff. I felt that way about the characters in The Brothers Karamazov.
A few yrs. ago there was a series on Discovery or one of the other channels concerning a group of climbers attempting Everest.
Changed my view of it.
It was disgusting. Trash littering the base camps. Hundreds of oxygen bottles ( think freon tanks) just tossed around. All types of abandoned camping equipment. A total trashed mess.
Each party wants to use their own lines, therefore ropes hanging everywhere.
So many parties going up and down they get in each way.
And the worst, bodies beside the trail of people that died trying. Just curled up where they took their last step.
A socialite took a party of friends, her own gourmet food and literally had Sherpas carry her to the top.
It costs about $30k for the trip.
I have zero respect for the whole idea.
I worked at one and my immediate super was a super greenie fascist. Nothing was ever “green” enough for her esp. when I was concerned. Nor was anything ever good enough ever for her as far as I was concerned, no matter what other people would come by and thank me for. I made it a point to keep any opinions to myself from the beginning but it didn’t matter.
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