While Lhakpa Sherpa was climbing to break her own record on Wednesday morning, other climbers were dealing with oxygen failures. Some 26 climbers had to descend to fix their oxygen regulators. Some Sherpa guides gave their oxygen regulators to their clients, risking their own lives.
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Alan Arnette, a mountaineer, posted on his blog that everyone was safe but it was a rare emergency – something he witnessed for the first time in the last 16 seasons. At least 10 of 39 oxygen bottle regulators had failed, making several teams give up their climbs. He confirmed the cylinders were supplied by Summit Oxygen (SO), and it seemed to be a bad manufacturing batch.
Meanwhile, Lam Babu Sherpa died on Everest, making him the second guide to die this season. Another Sherpa died on Makalu last week.
Altogether 865 climbers have attempted or are attempting 22 Himalayan peaks in Nepal this spring season, creating employment for 1,200 high-altitude guides and many thousands of porters. Of them, 346 mountaineers and most of the porters are on Mt Everest. There are 15 Nepali women, including a female journalists’ group, hoping to make it to the summit.
There is also an expedition that hopes to replicate NASA’s famous twin study that compared astronaut Scott Kelly’s body functions with his earthbound identical twin brother, by examining genetic changes in two American climbers climbing Everest this season while their twin brothers are at sea level.