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Kenyan Climber Dies on Mount Everest, Guide Missing

Photo Source: Kenya Insights.

A Kenyan climber, Joshua Cheruiyot Kirui, has died on Mount Everest, Nepalese officials announced on Thursday, raising the season’s death toll on the mountain to three.

Kirui, 40, and his Sherpa guide, Nawang, 44, went missing near the Hillary Step on Wednesday morning. Sherpa rescuers recovered Kirui’s body late on Wednesday, 19 meters (62 feet) below the 8,849-meter peak. The Sherpa guide remains missing.

The head of the Expedition Monitoring and Facilitation Field Office at Everest base camp, Khim Lal Gautam, ‏told Reuters, “It is not clear whether they went missing before reaching the peak or after climbing.”

Korir Sing’oei, Kenya’s principal secretary for foreign affairs, mourned the loss of his friend.

“He is a fearless, audacious spirit and represents the indomitable will of many Kenyans. We shall miss him,” Sing’oei posted on X.

Kirui had been attempting to reach the mountain’s summit without supplemental oxygen. In his last Instagram post from Everest base camp six days ago, he wrote, “A no-oxygen attempt comes with its special preparations and risks physically my body is ready.”

KCB Group CEO Paul Russo called Kirui a “true Kenyan hero,” saying, “Mr Kirui was a rare professional banker who, over the years, literally carried Kenya’s and Africa’s flag to global heights in his mountaineering quest. He remains an icon and an inspiration to many.”

The world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. Photo Source: Britannica.

This incident follows the deaths of two Mongolian climbers last week while descending from the summit and the disappearance of a British climber and a Sherpa guide who fell near the South Summit on Tuesday.

Since Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay first climbed Everest in 1953, around 7,000 climbers have reached the summit, with many making multiple climbs. Over 335 climbers have died on the mountain.

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