Adventure turned to tragedy for a young Australian couple on Saturday, after coming within touching distance of their goal in life, to the summit of Everest.
professor at the University of Monash Maria Strydom, 34, and her husband, veterinarian Robert Gropel Melbourne, began their climb to the top of the highest mountain in the world more than a month ago.
On Saturday, Dr. Strydom body was being transported thousands of meters of brutal ground after the severe altitude sickness fluid caused swelling in his brain, while her husband is battling congestive heart failure.
The couple had successfully reached Camp IV, 400 meters below the summit on Friday, the satellite pings posted on the Internet from their phones reveal.
With a storm on the horizon and reach the summit, Dr Strydom forced the bank of the ability of your body. A post online veterinary practice of Dr. Gropel reveals that the group had established under the cover of darkness.
“They will be set approximately 22:00 local time and will have to deal with the darkness, lack of oxygen, the famous Hillary step and a race against time,” said the hospital.
Furtengi Sherpa, the operational manager of the Seven Summits Treks, said Dr. Strydom had been battling the disease as the final push began.
“I was tired and energy was down, there was not enough oxygen to supply energy to continue the altitude of 7800 meters back,” he said.
The expedition had lost another climber when the elements had taken over Dr. Strydom. Dutchman Eric Arnold had told his teammates “my body has no energy left,” before he died in his sleep, according to the Dutch ANP news agency.
Suffering from altitude sickness and only hundreds of meters from the summit, Professor Melbourne was forced to backtrack through the “death zone” where private climbers oxygen battle against freezing, lower pressures the atmosphere, strong winds and sand bodies climbing trail.
“I could not resist weakness here and stopped breathing there,” Furtengi said.
Upon learning of the death of Mr. Arnold on Saturday, Dr Maritha Strydom mother desperately tried to contact the expedition using “all possible ways to call locate them.”
On Sunday morning the news he feared he had found his way home.
“My beautiful girl,” he wrote on Facebook. “I am [too] devastated to communicate.”
Strydom Dr. distraught sister, Aletta Newman, Arnold Coster attacked Expeditions, the climbing partner company responsible for the summit attempt.
“I just read online that my sister Maria died on Everest,” Ms. Newman wrote on Facebook. “Why can not you get in touch with the family before we have to find this? Please contact the family so we can get the facts!”.
The father of Dr. Heinz Gropel said he and his wife Pat were preparing to travel abroad if necessary to be with his son.
“They had to take him down sleigh. He suffered altitude pulmonary edema, they will Chopper Kathmandu and probably he did not fly to Singapore or Melbourne,” said Mr. Gropel.
“[Last night, Maria’s] mother rang and said he’s dead. And our son is still up there at Camp Two in the Khumbu Glacier in northeastern Nepal.”
According to Mr. Gropel, Dr. Gropel is the only veterinarian in Ivanhoe East Veterinary Hospital, northeast of Melbourne.
While the Department of Foreign Affairs of efforts to get the couple home, Tributes have begun to flow for 34 years, an expert in banking and finance.
“The community of Monash University is deeply saddened by the tragic news of the loss of Dr. Strydom on Everest,” said the University of Melbourne in a statement.
Students also expressed regret at the loss of young academic. “A wonderful and highly intelligent human being,” wrote former student of Monash, Apurv Maru.
“Goodbye Warrior Princess,” wrote fellow climber Juan Sarjanovich.
Dr. Strydom and her husband Dr. Gropel vegan activists were passionate and wanted to face Everest to combat stereotypes diet.
“It seems that people have this distorted idea of vegans being malnourished and weak,” said Dr. Strydom in March. “Climbing the Seven Summits want to show that vegans can do anything else.”
During the past eight years, experienced mountaineers had managed to climb Denali in Alaska, Aconcagua in Argentina, Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey, and Kilimanjaro in Africa.
Dr Strydom’s death was the third escalating related mortality in the Himalayas this week. On Thursday, a 25-year-old Nepalese sherpa fell more than two kilometers of his death. Sherpa, who has not been identified, slipped while he was fixing ropes near the Lhotse, the fourth highest peak in the world.
The deaths are likely to hit the mountain community of Nepal, which is still recovering from the last two seasons stricken climbing. country’s devastating earthquake last year caused an avalanche that killed 22 people at base camp. In 2014, an avalanche above base camp killed 16 Sherpa guides.