A Letterkenny man vying to be the first Donegal man to reach the summit of Mount Everest has come face-to-face with the dangers involved in his challenge when a fellow climber died a short distance from his tent.
Businessman, Jason Black is in Nepal and is keeping his many friends and family members updated on his adventures via his online blog.
In a post dated Tuesday he outlined how he was left “stunned and shocked” by the death of a Russian climber, just ten feet from his (Mr. Black’s) tent.
Mr. Black had endured a tough two-day climb with and an overnight camp in temperatures of -30 degrees and 70mph winds when he returned to his camp in preparation for his final assault on the world’s highest summit. It was then that news of the tragedy broke about the fatality.
His post explains: “Within minutes of arriving back we were informed that Mt Everest had claimed its first life on the north side. Details were sketchy but it was a young lad aged in his thirty’s on the same returning path between north Coll and ABC (Advance Base Camp) while acclimatising and just 10 foot from my tent, he dropped dead and couldn’t be saved.
“He was a young Russian climber and he too had his Sherpa with him. We are all stunned and shocked that this guy was just out doing the same as the rest do in preparation for our summit bid. Over this last final push on altitude acclimatisation and seeing the scale of the task ahead I wish I could only put into words and feelings the magnitude of the pressures physically, mentally and emotionally that at this altitude what the body must endure to survive.” Mr. Black also described how the climber’s death hit home, as well as the sight of the victim’s friends removing his body.
“It was a damaging sight watching a young body being carried out of ABC (no coffins up here) with his tearful companions in tow walking back down to base camp to await transport I suspect,” the blog continued.
“Tonight my prayers are with this young mountaineer, his friends and family. As I write this I look back up at Mt Everest, cold, windy and heartless with no conscience.”