The three men — identified as Tenjing Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa, and Badure Sherpa — were making their way through the mountain’s treacherous Khumbu Icefall when the avalanche struck, Mount Everest Today reported.
This afternoon, the outlet confirmed that the sherpas died in the tragic accident. Like many sherpas on Mount Everest, they had been carrying equipment to Camp 1 for other climbers. The men were from Thesuka Sherpa village in the Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality-5, the story said.
Working as guides for the Imagine Nepal team, the men were climbing at an altitude of about 18,700 feet when the avalanche collapsed their route through the icefall, according to multiple news reports. Their bodies have already been found, but remain buried in a crevasse, making recovery difficult, Nepali officials with the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC, which oversees rigging in the icefall) told Mount Everest Today.
“Efforts to transport them via helicopter have been unsuccessful so far due to the difficult terrain where the bodies were found,” the publication wrote. “The SPCC team is working to establish a route from the base camp to the second camp of Mount Everest, where the bodies will eventually be transported.”
Climbers regard the Khumbu Icefall as one of Mount Everest’s most dangerous hazards. The constantly changing glacier is filled with deep crevasses and precarious ice blocks as big as buildings.
This isn’t the first time the icefall has claimed the lives of sherpas. In 2014, a chunk of glacier sheared down the mountain, causing a massive avalanche that killed 16 sherpa guides as they carried their clients’ equipment. It remains one of the deadliest disasters in the mountain’s history.
The primary climbing season for Mount Everest runs from March to the end of May, when hundreds of foreign climbers arrive at base camp to climb the world’s tallest mountain.
As in every climbing season, the number of sherpas will nearly outnumber the visiting climbers, setting up the fixed ropes that get other climbers to the summit — risking their own lives in the process.