A 34-year-old Australian woman, who was born in South Africa, has died while descending from the summit of Mount Everest, officials in Kathmandu, Nepal, said on Sunday. It was the second death on the world’s highest mountain in as many days.
The death of Maria Strydom on Saturday was confirmed by Monash University in Melbourne, where she worked as a lecturer. Officials in Nepal said efforts were under way to take her body down from the mountain.
Eyewitness News reported that 34-year-old Strydom matriculated from Garsfontein High School in Pretoria and had worked as a finance lecturer at Monash University since 2006.
She and her husband aimed to be the first vegans to reach the summit of Everest.
Mrs Newman was angry that by late yesterday the company leading the group, Seven Summit Treks, had still not made contact.
However Seven Summit Treks did respond to media queries.
Operational manager Furtengi Sherpa told the Herald Sun that on Friday Dr Strydom had almost made it to the top.
But she suffered from a “lack of energy and weakness” he said and had to turn around and start back while the rest of the party reached the top.
Furtengi Sherpa said Dr Strydom and her personal sherpa got back down to Camp 4 that night and had started to head back down the mountain again on Saturday.
But her tiredness and lack of energy continued despite being given oxygen.
Finally, at an altitude of 7800 metres, “She could not resist any more. She stopped breathing right there,” he said.
The Himalayan Times reported that Dr Strydom suffered from snow blindness followed by stroke.