Body Of South African-Born Climber Retrieved From Mount Everest


A rescue helicopter has finally brought the body of South African-born climber, Maria Strydom, who died after reaching Mount Everest’s summit from Mount Everest down to Kathmandu.

Sherpa climbers brought Strydom’s body down the mountain to Camp 2 (6 400 metres) on Wednesday, from where the rescue helicopter plucked it to Kathmandu.

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“Her body has now been brought to Kathmandu from the mountain,” said Phu Tenzi Sherpa of the Seven Summit Treks that organised her expedition.

Death Of South African-Born Climber Dr Maria Strydom

Dr Maria Strydom, 34, died on the mountain last Saturday after she was forced back by altitude sickness when they came to the South Summit, at nearly 8,000 metres.

Strydom, together with her husband, Robert Gropel (who was also part of the team) then turned around and tried to get lower, with Mr Gropel giving her an injection of the medication dexamethasone.

Sherpas brought her more oxygen, and they continued down. She improved briefly but then collapsed suddenly and could not be revived.

Mr Gropel, also suffered altitude sickness and was airlifted to Kathmandu early this week. He however vowed not to leave Nepal until his wife’s body is recovered.

Altitude sickness is an illness caused by ascent to high altitude, characterized by hyperventilation, nausea, and exhaustion resulting from shortage of oxygen.

See Also: SA-Born Climber Dies On Mount Everest

Dr Maria Strydom, graduated from the University of Pretoria in 2003 and was teaching finance at Monash University before her sudden demise.

The South African-born climber had previously climbed Denali in Alaska, Aconcagua in Argentina, and Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Mount Everest has been climbed by over 7 300 people since 1953 when Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary made their pioneering ascent. Number of deaths on the mount this month has taken the toll to at least 283.

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