According to Washington Post, one climber, an Australian finance lecturer from Monash University, died on Saturday from altitude sickness after reaching Mount Everest’s peak. She was climbing in a group of ten led by Dutch mountaineer Arnold Coster.
Her husband, Robert Gropel, who was climbing the mountain with her, also suffered from altitude sickness, but survived after being hospitalized in Nepal. They both encountered pulmonary edema, a condition which causes fluid to build up in the brain and lungs.
Maria Strydom, 34, was a vegan who wanted to prove that “vegans can do anything.” She told Monash University’s blog that she and her vegan husband wanted to show the world that they did not suffer from iron and protein deficiencies, as is often the stereotypical view of vegans.
Strydom said, "It seems that people have this warped idea of vegans being malnourished and weak. By climbing the seven summits, we want to prove that vegans can do anything and more."
The university lecturer and her husband were both experienced climbers with eight years of climbing behind them. Their mountaineering track record included Kilimanjaro, Denali, Mount Ararat, Aconcagua among others.
Her sister told ABC that her family first learned about her tragic death by doing an internet search.
Even the most experienced of climbers can die on Mount Everest, which is widely known as the world's most dangerous summit. The sad news of the past week's deaths on Everest remind us that humans cannot always overcome nature, as we often think we can.
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