A 35-year-old Dutch man suffering from high-altitude sickness died on his way back from Mount Everest's summit in the first death reported this year on the world's highest mountain, an expedition organizer says. Eric Arnold died near the South Col on Friday night, Pasang Phurba of the Seven Summit Treks agency in Kathmandu tells the AP. Arnold had climbing partners with him and plenty of bottled oxygen, but he complained of getting weak and died before he was able to come down to a lower altitude, Phurba says.
Phurba says more details are not available yet because of poor communication with the crew on the mountain, and it will take days and several people to bring the body of Arnold down the slopes. "Mountain climber Eric Arnold reaches the summit of Mount Everest at the fifth attempt," the Rotterdam man said in his final tweet. Favorable weather has allowed hundreds of climbers to scale the 29,035-foot mountain since last week. More than 330 climbers have reached the summit from Nepal since May 11, and several more have done so from the northern routes in Tibet. (A 7-11 worker from Connecticut is now Everest's most successful female climber.)