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US climber dies near summit of Mount Everest, per reports

Posted at 12:53 PM, May 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-21 16:01:10-04

An American climber from Alabama was among three climbers who died on Sunday, during an attempt to reach the top of Mount Everest.

According to the Washington Post, Roland Yearwood was one of three climbers who died. In addition to the three deaths, a fourth climber has gone missing near the top of the world’s tallest mountain.

Yearwood returned to Mount Everest after having a brush with death in 2015 on the mountain. Yearwood narrowly survived a deadly avalanche caused by a devastating Nepal earthquake. Seventeen died from the 2015 avalanche on Mount Everest.

Slovak climber Vladimir Strba and Australian Francesco Enrico Marchetti also died this weekend on Everest.

The middle of May marks a busy time as a record 375 mountaineers attempt to reach the summit of Everest this year. On Sunday alone, 60 climbers successfully reached the top of Everest.

In addition to the risk of avalanches, the peak of Everest poses deadly risks. Among the risks climbers face are a lack of oxygen and frostbite.

The Himalayan Times reported that Yearwood died at an altitude of 8,000 meters, which is roughly 800 meters – or 2,600 feet - below the summit. At that altitude, Yearwood was in what is described as the “Death Zone” of Everest; an area where the air is so thin, humans only have a matter of hours before vital organs begin to shut down. 

Yearwood was a physician at Georgiana Medical Center in Georgiana, Alabama. According to his biography, Yearwood was attempting to reach the highest point of all seven continents.