Sunday was a day of tragedy and success for local guides on Mount Everest.
An Alabama doctor died Sunday during a climb led by Lakebay-based guide Daniel Mazur. Roland Yearwood, 50, was one of four climbers who died Sunday on the world’s highest peak according to multiple media reports.
He died not far from the summit. Yearwood had survived the 2015 earthquake on Everest that killed 18 climbers.
Also among Sunday’s fatalities was Slovak skier Vladimir Strba, Indian climber Ravi Kumar and Australian Francesco Enrico Marchetti. Marchetti died on the Chinese side of the mountain.
Amongst the tragedy, an estimated 60 people made the summit and nearly half were led by Ashford-based International Guides.
All 27 members of the company’s party — 10 clients, 15 sherpas and two guides — made the summit, said IMG owner Eric Simonson. A second IMG group plans to attempt the summit on Thursday.
Mazur is an accomplished Everest guide who made headlines in 2006 when he aborted a summit attempt for himself and his clients to save Australian Lincoln Hall. The previous day, Hall's climbing party assumed he couldn't be saved and called his wife to her that Hall was dead.
Also on Sunday, rumors that the historic Hillary Step had collapsed spread in the media. The Hillary Step is a famous feature considered the last obstacle before the summit. It is named for Edmund Hillary, the first climber along with Tenzing Norgay Sherpa to summit the 29,035-foot peak.
Authorities in Nepal denied reports of the collapse in a story published Monday by CNN.
Simonson said Monday morning he’d not yet heard a report of the state of the Hillary Step from his party.