• Germany's news in English

German doctor dies on Everest clean-up

The Local · 21 May 2012, 11:20

Published: 21 May 2012 11:20 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The 61-year-old doctor, Eberhard Schaaf, died on Saturday of extreme altitude sickness while descending the south side of the mountain, Ang Tshering Sherpa of the Kathmandu-based Asian Trekking adventure agency said.

"Climbers spend their energy on the ascent and they are exhausted and fatigued on the descent," Tshering explained.

Daily newspaper Bild said Schaaf, a passionate mountaineer from Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, was taking part in the "Eco Everest Expedition", a clean-up operation that since 2008 has cleared over 13 tonnes of rubbish from the mountain.

But severe altitude sickness caused Schaaf to develop swelling in the brain, which killed him.

"After assessing the symptoms, the medical staff at the Himalayan Rescue Association believe the cause of death to be High Altitude Cerebral Edema," a press release from Asain Trekking said.

"Our thoughts go out to the family of the deceased at this moment and we offer any assistance at this difficult time."

The mountain, which lies in the Himalayas, Nepal, also claimed the lives of a South Korean woman and a Nepali-born Canadian woman over the weekend. A Chinese climber and Nepali mountain guide are still missing.

Sherpa said South Korean Song Won-Bin, who had been missing since Saturday, died at "The Balcony", an area near the top of the 8,848-metre (29,029-feet) peak.

Story continues below…

AFP/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:12 May 21, 2012 by William Thirteen
thank you, Herr Schaaf, for trying to leave our planet a bit better than you found it.
20:54 May 21, 2012 by Englishted
@William Thirteen

agreed ,still sad that they need to do a clean up but I hope it was from the past.
23:06 May 21, 2012 by krishnaprasadpandey
" The death for the greater cause". You will be an inspiration for the next generation. May the soul rest in heaven.
08:43 May 22, 2012 by euan.dykes
It's just not worth it, every time a clean up party is sent up Everest there's a high chance they will end up leaving several more dead bodies and all their gear up there too, thus actually making the problem worse. The Nepalese government should be imposing limitations on the number who can ascend every year.
Today's headlines
Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd