Mount Everest – IFMGA guide Vinayak Malla reached Everest’s summit at 6 am on May 21, the busiest summit day, with Elite Exped clients. On their descent, they recorded the aftermath of a snow cornice collapse, which dragged several climbers into the void. Though the video doesn’t show the collapse itself, it vividly depicts the overcrowded summit ridge, with dozens of climbers inching across a narrow snow arete that eventually crumbled.

“The Everest summit ridge felt different than my previous experiences on the mountain,” Malla said. “There was soft snow, many cornices, and rocky sections covered in snow. Even the weather station was half buried in snow.”

After summiting, Malla and his clients crossed the Hillary Step when a cornice collapsed a few meters ahead of them. Fortunately, their section of the cornice held. Malla’s video shows climbers clinging to fixed ropes, desperately trying to lift themselves to safety. “As the cornice collapsed, four climbers nearly perished yet were clipped onto the rope and self-rescued,” Malla recounted. Sadly, two climbers are still missing.

Faced with heavy traffic and dwindling oxygen, Malla began breaking a new route, allowing the descending climbers to move slowly again.

In a separate incident, a climber Binod Babu Bastakoti from Pokhara died at around 8,300m, just above Camp 4, after suffering from altitude sickness while descending from the summit on May 22.

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