Australian woman dies of altitude sickness on Everest

Mt Everest is seen from the way to Kalapatthar in Nepal. Photo / AP
Mt Everest is seen from the way to Kalapatthar in Nepal. Photo / AP

An Australian academic has died from altitude sickness while descending from the summit of Mount Everest.

She has been identified as Dr Maria Strydom, a finance lecturer at Monash University and experienced climber, who had been travelling in Nepal with her husband Rob.

"After reaching the summit yesterday she said she was feeling very weak and suffering from a loss of energy ... signs of altitude sickness," Seven Summit Treks board director Pasang Phurba Sherpa said.

The 34-year-old died a day after altitude sickness also claimed the life of Dutch climber Eric Arnold, the first fatalities on the world's highest peak since expeditions resumed this year.

The news broke as confirmation came through that Queensland teenager Alyssa Azar, 19, had become the youngest Australian to conquer Everest on her third attempt.

It's expected to be a couple of days before the two bodies can be airlifted to Kathmandu and handed over to relatives, who have been informed, Seven Summit Treks' Nima Sherpa told news agency DPA.

Everest expeditions in 2014 were cancelled after 16 sherpas died in an icefall avalanche. In 2015, another avalanche triggered by a 7.8-magnitude quake, killed 19 mountaineers at Everest Base Camp, prompting the cancellation of all trips.


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