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Asia, Nepal, Pre-Monsoon in the Nepal Himalaya

Pre-Monsoon in the Nepal Himalaya. Seven climbers died this spring in the Nepalese Himalaya, all during descents from 8000-meter summits. Two had no previous success on any 8000-meter mountain and used artificial oxygen during the final hours of their climbs to their summits, while five had been to the tops of 8000ers in previous years and did not use oxygen at all this spring. The seven were:

• Pascal Debrouwer, a 29-year-old Belgian organizer and guide of travel in mountain regions of the world who before this year had scaled the least difficult 8000er, Cho Oyu, on Everest’s north side. He used no bottled oxygen.

• Tadeusz Kudelski, a 44-year-old Polish teacher with no summit success on any lower 8000er, on Everest’s north side. He did use artificial oxygen.

• Michael Matthews, a 22-year-old British securities trader also with no previous 8000- meter summit experience, on Everest’s south side. He too used supplemental oxygen.

• Vasili Kopytko, a 34-year-old Ukrainian doctor who had scaled Cho Oyu and now was part of a three-man summit party who were the first Ukrainian citizens to reach the summit, on Everest’s north side. He used no artificial oxygen.

• Miss Ji Hyun-Ok, a 33-year-old South Korean fine-arts teacher who had summited Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum II in recent years, on Annapurna I’s north face. She became the first Korean woman to reach the highest peak of Annapurna I, but she and her Sherpa companion fell to their deaths the same day. She used no bottled oxygen.

• Kami Dorchi Sherpa, 33, who scaled both Annapurna I and Manaslu last year. He accompanied Miss Ji to the top of Annapurna I and died with her. He also used no bottled oxygen.

• Michael Knakkergaard-Jorgensen (better known by a simplified version of his family name, Jorgensen), a 31-year-old mountaineer and tour operator who had scaled Everest and Lhotse in recent years, on Makalu’s northwest side. He was the first Dane ever to summit Makalu. He used no bottled oxygen.

Elizabeth Hawley