French climber dies on Nepal's Mt Makalu

French climber dies on Nepal’s Mt Makalu

/ 01:04 PM May 14, 2024


An aerial picture taken midair from an helicopter shows the summit of Mount Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world at 8,481 metres, in Nepal’s Himalayas range on March 7, 2023. Agence France-Presse

KATHMANDU — A French climber died on Mount Makalu, the world’s fifth-highest peak, expedition organisers said Tuesday, the second fatality of this year’s spring climbing season and both on the same mountain.

Johnny Saliba, 60, died at an altitude of 8,120 meters (26,640 feet) during his summit push on Sunday.


“He was heading to the summit but his guide brought him down after he suffered symptoms of altitude sickness. And then he passed away,” said Bodha Raj Bhandari, expedition organizer at Snowy Horizon Treks and Expedition.


READ: Nepali guide dies on Himalayan peak as climbing season begins

Bhandari added that Saliba’s family had been informed and efforts were underway to retrieve his body.

He was part of a French team on the 8,485-meter-tall (27,838-feet) mountain and the other members safely returned to the base camp.

Last week, a 53-year-old Nepali guide died on Makalu as he was descending after reaching the summit.

READ: Nepal court orders limit on Everest climbing permits

Nepal has this year issued 59 permits to foreign climbers for Makalu — costing $1,800 each, compared to $11,000 for Everest — and dozens have reached the top after a rope-fixing team summited the peak last month.


Hundreds of climbers have flocked to the Himalayan country — home to eight of the world’s 14 highest peaks — for summits in the spring climbing season when temperatures are warm and winds are typically calm.

Nepal has issued more than 900 permits for its mountains this year, including 414 for Everest, earning over $5 million in royalties.

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TAGS: Climbing, France, Nepal

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