Two climbers buried in Everest

Two climbers from Switzerland and the United States have become the first deaths of this year’s Everest climbing season.

Abdul Waraich, 41, of Switzerland, made it to the summit at 8,948 meters, but began to have problems on the way down, according to Nepal-based expedition company Seven Peaks Journey. Company official Chhang Dawa said two more Sherpas were sent to meet Waraich with oxygen and food, but he died on Wednesday.

The American climber, Puwei Liu, 55, only made it as far as the Hillary Step, the last camp before the summit, before developing snow blindness and exhaustion and starting his descent on the Nepalese side of Everest. Liu Puwei died during the descent, the company said.

After all expeditions were halted last year because of the new coronavirus pandemic, Nepal issued a record 408 permits in an effort to restore tourism revenue during the popular April-May climbing season, when the weather is more suitable for mountaineering.