Sherpa Falls To His Death On The Lhotse Face
May 7, 1997
By Liesl Clark
News spread rapidly through camp yesterday that a Sherpa had fallen to his death below Camp III.
It is not known whether he was climbing, or at Camp III when he fell. Reports have come
in, however, that he fell several thousand feet down the Lhotse Face to the bergshrund
at the base. It was there that members of the Malaysian team found his body and identified him as one
of their climbing Sherpas. Little is known about the precise circumstances surrounding
his fall, however, the incline on the Lhotse Face is such that if a climber is not roped in or
loses his/her balance while at Camp III, he/she can fall and quickly lose control
of their fall.
Yesterday, David Breashears, Ed Viesturs, Jangbu Sherpa, David Carter, and Pete Athans were
still resting at Camp II awaiting better weather conditions up high. Today, bad weather continued,
and the climbers decided to return to Base Camp to await better conditions for a summit attempt.
Meanwhile, a bad virus is making the rounds at Base Camp. Dr. Doug Rovera, with
the Canadian Expedition, reports that he has seen at least four people at Base Camp afflicted
with the virus. "First they have very serious fatigue and a high fever, and then a day later they
get caught up with a cough that lasts a week."