US mountaineer climbs rare Everest ‘triple crown’ as death toll reaches 12

2 weeks ago 32

KATHMANDU, Nepal – A renowned US mountain guide has achieved the rare Mount Everest region “triple crown” of climbing the Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse peaks in one season, as the season’s death toll on the world’s highest mountain hit 12.

Mr Garrett Madison, 44, climbed Lhotse, the world’s fourth tallest peak at 8,516m on Thursday, a day after he made his 13th ascent of Everest, at 8,849m, said Mr Ishwari Paudel of the Himalayan Guides company, which is helping Mr Madison with logistics.

Mr Madison, who owns Seattle-based company Madison Mountaineering, climbed the smaller but technically difficult Nuptse peak, at 7,855m, on May 8.

“It is very difficult to climb all three peaks in a single season, and only a few other mountaineers have done it,” Mr Paudel said.

Mr Paudel said Mr Madison was accompanied by three sherpa climbers on all three peaks.

“We are extremely proud of the team and this tremendous accomplishment,” Mr Madison said on his company website.

British climber Kenton Cool, who climbed the triple crown in 2013, described Mr Madison as an “unflappable expedition leader” who quietly goes about his job.

“When I climbed what became known as the Triple Crown in one season, I said it wouldn’t be done again for 10 years,” Mr Cool told Reuters in a text message.

“I’m happy now that 10 years later, it’s Garrett who has managed to achieve the same feat… Bravo!!”

Mr Cool, 49, last week set a new record of 17 summits of Everest, the world’s highest peak, by a foreign climber.

Nepali guide Kami Rita Sherpa this week climbed Everest for a 28th time, the most by any mountaineer.

More deaths

Separately, Nepali tourism official Khim Lal Gautam announced that another climber – 63-year-old Canadian Petrus Albertyn Swart – died inside the “death zone” while trying to reach Everest’s summit.

His death brought the season’s toll so far to 12.

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