|Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and British Sir Edmund Hillary were first to summit in 1953.|
- A Nepalese mountain Sherpa, a Dutch man, an Australian woman, and an Indian man are among the deaths
- Two Indian climbers are missing, expedition organizers said
Since last Thursday four people have died on the 29,035-foot peak, including a Sherpa. Rescue efforts are ongoing for two other missing climbers.
|Is K2 higher? (Robbie Ryan/IFC Films/NPR)|
The recent deaths -- coming so quickly on the heels of one another -- have rattled climbers who are beginning their descent as the Everest climbing season nears its end. April and May are the most common months to attempt a climb because there tends to be less wind. Regardless, the climate on the mountain is brutal. Temperatures range from -31 to -4 Fahrenheit.
And yet the hopefuls keep coming. More than 400 people have attempted the Everest climb this season, including 288 foreigners and more than 100 Sherpas and guides, said Sudarshan Dhakal, director of the Nepal Tourism Department. That's more than the average for previous seasons, he said.
Here's a closer look at the recent fatalities. More + VIDEO