2 People Die Climbing Mt. Everest, Including An American

REUTERS/Monika Deupala/File Photo

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Two people died attempting to climb Mount Everest, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The Swiss and American are the first two fatalities of the climbing season, expedition organizers told the outlet.

Abdul Waraich, 41, did reach the peak of Everest before he started having difficulties, according to the expedition organizers. He reportedly died during his descent.

“Abdul successfully reached the summit but began experiencing issues during his descent,” organizer Chhang Dawa told the Associated Press. “We sent two additional Sherpas with oxygen and food. Unfortunately, the Sherpas couldn’t save him.” (RELATED: Overcrowding On Everest Leads To Two More Deaths)

American Puwei Liu, 55, died at the highest camp, the Associated Press reported. Liu had made it to the Hillary Step before having to return to camp after experiencing exhaustion and snow blindness.

Snow blindness occurs from exposure to UV rays being reflected off of snow and ice. The condition usually only lasts around 24-48 hours and causes temporary blindness.

Liu died Wednesday at Camp Sol on the Nepal side of the mountain, according to the Associated Press.

Nepal and China both reopened the mountain this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, although only Chinese nationals can climb on the Chinese side, the outlet reported

At least 11 climbers died during the 2019 season, making it one of the deadliest climbing seasons in history, ABC News reported at the time. The mountain experienced overcrowding after a record number of permits were reportedly granted by Nepal.