Australian climber who spent years learning to walk again dies on Everest
An expedition organiser said on Sunday (May 21) that an Australian climber has died on Everest. This is the tenth fatality on the world's highest peak during this climbing season.
Jason Bernard Kennison (40) reportedly survived a bad car crash in 2006. Asian Trekking said that he died after becoming unwell on Friday.
Asian Trekking chief Dawa Steven Sherpa told news agency AFP that Kennison was "unresponsive" at the summit. He was then brought down to balcony area below the peak.
"Since the oxygen cylinders that they had with them were running out, they decided to descend to Camp 4 hoping to climb back again with oxygen cylinders to rescue him," Sherpa said.
"It was high wind and bad weather that prevented them (from) going back to bring him down. He died at the Balcony area."
The Himalayan Times reported that strong winds and bad weather prevented the Sherpas from returning.
Four Sherpas have lost their lives on Everest this year's climbing season. Kennison's death is sixth among non-Nepalis.
Five climbers die every spring climbing seas on Mount Everest. In 2019 however, 11 people died. Four of the deaths were blamed on overcrowding on the mountain.
According to reports in Australian media, Kennison spent years learning to walk again. The road accident had left him with multiple injuries. He received injuries even to his spinal cord.
On his Just Giving page on social media, he had written how the idea to climb the tallest mountain peak in the world came to him.
“Someone close to me convinced me that I was still capable of being able to do anything I wanted,” he wrote.
“In 2023 I will head to Nepal, to see and be on Mount Everest, a long way from once battling traumatic injuries and the low and dark days of depression. An ambitious feat that I would never have dreamed of, or thought was possible after once being told that I would not be able to walk."
“I am going to make the most of my life and part of that involves helping other people who have had their life changed in an instant through spinal cord injury. They shouldn’t be forgotten; they should be helped.”
According to Nepal's tourism department, nearly 450 climbers have already climbed Mount Everest this season. The tourism department has issued 478 permits to foreign climbers. In order to get one, each of them has to pay USD 11,000 fee.
Since most will need a guide, more than 900 people -- a record –- were expected to try to summit during the season, which runs until early June.