A Canadian filmmaker has described ‘a lifeless soul’ beneath climbers feet amid carnage and chaos at the summit of Mount Everest.
Elia Saikaly, from Ottawa, said he tried to warn other climbers to head off the world’s tallest peak, people who later ended up dead.
Eleven people have died in just nine days after treacherous weather cut the climbing window, leaving mountaineers waiting in long queues, risking exhaustion and running out of oxygen.
Mr Saikaly’s photo showed the long line of people waiting to ascend with a corpse still hanging to the rope – it is not known whose body it is.
Today 62-year-old Christopher John Kulish, an American lawyer, died suddenly on his descent at South Col after scaling the normal Southeast Ridge route.
Sakaily posted this picture he took while he was on the treacherous mountain on Thursday – a dead body can be seen still tethered dangling from the mountain. Sakaily wrote: ‘This poor human being perched 7000ft above the Western CWM for everyone to observe was a reminder of each of our own mortality’
Filmmaker Mr Saikaly wrote: ‘We passed over 60 people during the night and arrived to the south summit just after sunrise. The skies suddenly opened up, the mist and cloud cover burned away and all of the splendor and glory of the world beneath our feet became visible.
‘The Hillary Step was in plain sight and our team of climbers approached the final crux beneath the top of the world. The sub zero temperatures and low oxygen level in the atmosphere had taken their toll on all of us. Minds hypoxic, extremities nearly numb, we all pressed on through the life or death situation.
‘The early morning light had revealed the gateway to the summit of Everest and in parallel a human being who had lost his life. Here we all were, chasing a dream and beneath our very feet there was a lifeless soul. Is this what Everest has become?
‘As I documented the team climbing the iconic step, my mind raced and empathized with every person who struggled to stay alive while undoubtedly questioning their own humanity, ethics and integrity.
‘This poor human being perched 7000ft above the Western CWM for everyone to observe was a reminder of each of our own mortality. Was this the ‘Dream of Everest’ we all imagined?
Canadian filmmaker Elia Saikaly said he witnessed ‘death, carnage and chaos’ at the top of Mount Everest last week
‘My heart bled for the family and loved ones and at the same time I was conscious of the necessity to continue to move. At nearly 9000m above sea level, there is no choice but to carry on.
‘Who is responsible here? The individuals? The companies? The Government? Is it time to enforce new rules? Will things ever change? What’s the solution here?
‘With great sadness, as the cues pushed onwards and upwards, so did we, as did over 200 people that day.
‘I deeply apologize for the sensitivity of this post, but I feel we have a responsibility to inform aspiring future climbers of the seriousness of this undertaking while creating a dialogue around how to make safer, more responsible and more ethical choices with how we approach climbing to the top of the world.
‘To those that lost their lives this season may their souls Rest In Peace.’
Mr Saikaly, who was filming four Arab women on the mountain on Thursday, said: ‘I cannot believe what I saw up there. Death. Carnage. Chaos. Lineups. Dead bodies on the route and in tents at camp 4.
‘People who I tried to turn back who ended up dying. People being dragged down. Walking over bodies. Everything you read in the sensational headlines all played out on our summit night.’
Former Parachute Regiment soldier Martin Hewitt shared footage on Sunday from the peak, saying he had been forced to cut the queue to the top as his tank ran low on oxygen.
Former Parachute Regiment soldier Martin Hewitt posted a video online showing the queue backed up behind him – he tweeted that there were too many unprepared climbers on Everest
The route up the mountain includes several large obstacles and a huge moving glacier near to base camp as shown in the map above
Four bodies were retrieved from Everest last week and have yet to be identified.
As well as the Everest deaths, nine climbers have died on other 26,000 ft Himalayan peaks, while one is missing.
At least four deaths on the world’s highest mountain have been blamed on over-crowding with teams waiting sometimes for hours in the ‘death zone’ where the cold is bitter, the air dangerously thin and the terrain treacherous.
John Kulish is the second American to die in the last ten days after reaching the peak.
He was part of a group of climbers who celebrated his 62nd birthday on the mountain.
Most of the deaths have been attributed to exhaustion and tiredness, exacerbated because a crowded route to and from the summit has led to delays.
Kulish was a patent lawyer from Boulder, Colorado.
It remains unclear how experienced he was.
The Nepalese army was drafted in to remove 22,000 lbs of rubbish and four dead bodies found in the Everest summits during a massive cleaning campaign.
This year’s Everest toll is the highest since 2014-15 when huge earthquakes triggered devastating avalanches.
Nepalese defence minister Ishwor Pokhrel (centre) along with the head of Nepalese army and government officials pose with waste bags collected from the Everest Mount at Namche Bazar, Solukhumbu district, Nepal
Nepali climbers pose on bags of trash with discarded oxygen tanks recovered from Mount Everest
British climber Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, died in the ‘death zone’ – known for low oxygen levels – on his descent on Saturday after speaking of his worries about overcrowding on the world’s highest mountain.
In one of his last social media posts, he told of how he had changed his plans in order to avoid the ‘fatal’ crowds.
He said: ‘With a single route to the summit, delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game.’
Mr Fisher was described as an ‘aspirational adventurer’ who ‘lived life to the full’ in a statement from his family.
Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, died in the ‘death zone’ of Mount Everest – known for its low oxygen levels and had previously told of his worries around overcrowding on the mountain
Irish climber Kevin Hynes, 56, died in his tent at 7,000 metres in the early hours of Friday after turning back before reaching the summit.
The father-of-two was part of a group from UK-based climbing company 360 Expeditions which was attempting to scale Everest.
His death comes a week after Trinity College professor Seamus Lawless, aged 39 and from Bray, Co Wicklow, fell during his descent from the peak having achieved a lifetime ambition of reaching the summit.
The search for Mr Lawless has been called off.
An American climber, Austrian climber and two Indian climbers are also reported to have died.
Seamus Lawless 39, from Bray, Ireland, fell during his descent from the peak having achieved a lifetime ambition of reaching the summit. Above: Mr Lawless after scaling Alaska’s 20,000-ft Mount Denali last summer
Mr Fisher was the tenth fatality on Everest in the current climbing season that ends this month and the 18th in Nepal’s Himalayas in the same period.
Record numbers of climbers are cramming on to the piste during the spring season’s good weather.
There are 41 teams with a total of 378 climbers permitted to scale the mountain during the spring climbing season in Nepal that begins around March.
An equal number of Nepalese guides are helping them get to the summit.
The 10 climbers who have died on Everest in the past nine days
May 16: Irish professor Séamus Lawless went missing on May 16 after reportedly falling.
The search operation has since been called off and he is presumed dead.
Friday: Irishman Kevin Hynes, 56, passed away on the northern Tibet part of the mountain.
The father-of-two died in his tent at 23,000ft on the descent after turning back before reaching the top.
Saturday: Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, collapsed and died only 150m from the peak.
Last week: Four Indians, one Austrian, one American and one person from Nepal died on Everest.