American climber dies, Indian missing on Everest

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2015, file photo, Mt. Everest is seen from the way to Kalapatthar in Nepal. An American climber has died near the summit of Mount Everest and an Indian climber is missing after heading down from the mountain following a successful ascent, expedition organizers said Sunday. (AP Photo/Tashi Sherpa, File)

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An American climber has died near the summit of Mount Everest and an Indian climber is missing after heading down from the mountain following a successful ascent, expedition organizers said Sunday.

Roland Yearwood, 50, from Georgiana, Alabama, died on the mountain on Sunday but other details were not immediately known, said Murari Sharma of the Everest Parivar Expedition agency, based in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital.

Indian climber Ravi Kamar fell sick on his way down from the summit on Saturday and did not make it to the nearest camp, while his accompanying Nepalese Sherpa guide made it to a camp, said Thupden Sherpa of Arun Treks and Expedition.

The guide also fell sick, but he was able to drag himself to the last camp at South Col, located at 8,000 meters (26,247 feet), Sherpa said, adding that the guide had frostbite and was hooked to oxygen bottles.

A rescue team of three Sherpas flew by helicopter to Camp 2, from where they were climbing up the mountain to help search for the missing climber.

Kamar and his guide reached the 8,850-meter-high (29,035-foot-high) summit on Saturday at around 1:30 p.m., which is considered late, and not many climbers were around when they were returning back, Sherpa said.

Yearwood is the third climber to die on Everest during the current spring climbing season, which began in March and runs through this month.

The Nepalese Tourism Department issued a record 371 permits this year to people to scale the mountain. The increased number of climbers this year is likely because many people were unable to climb in 2014 and 2015.

The 2015 season was scrapped after 19 climbers were killed and 61 injured by an avalanche at the base camp triggered by a massive earthquake. In 2014, an avalanche at the Khumbu Icefall killed 16 Sherpa guides.

Climbers who had permits for the 2014 season were allowed to receive a free replacement permit until 2019, while climbers with 2015 permits were given only until this year. Climbers normally must pay $11,000 to Nepal’s government for a permit.

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