Kenyan Climber Dies on Mount Everest
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Kenyan Climber Dies on Mount Everest

A Kenyan mountaineer, Joshua Cheruiyot Kirui, 41, went missing near the summit of Mount Everest on Wednesday. He lost contact with his base shortly after updating his followers on Instagram on his no-oxygen summit attempt, 8, 000 meters above. He has been found dead today in a rescue mission that has lasted many hours.

Kenyan Climber Dies on Mount Everest
Joshua Kirui at 6, 000mtrs Mt Manaslu, Nepal last year Image: IG

Kirui, who worked for Kenya Commercial Bank, and his Nepali guide Nawang Sherpa, 44, lost contact and disappeared at the same time at the Bishop Rock Zone. His body was discovered by the Seven Summit Treks rescue team a few meters from the summit point. It is not clear whether he died before or after he submitted the tip. His guide’s body has not been found yet.

“The challenge for me would be without supplemental oxygen; otherwise, I wouldn’t feel like I’ve achieved much. So I want to see how my body can cope in such altitude,” said Cheruiyot

Reporting on the incident, Everest Today, a publication that focuses on climbers above the 8,000-meter mark said, “With profound sadness, we share the news of Kenyan mountaineer Cheruiyot Kirui’s passing on Mt Everest. His body was found a few meters below the summit point of Mt Everest. 

Everest Today: Kenyan Climber Dies on Mount Everest

“His indomitable will and passion for mountaineering will forever be an inspiration. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends during this time of sorrow.” wrote Everest Today

Kenyan Climber Dies on Mount Everest
Joshua Cheruiyot at The Nairobi Marathon Relay, 2021 Image: FB

Kirui was an experienced climber and athlete who had summited different mountain peaks in the world as a sport. He had done Mount Kenya 15 times. He was on a mission to be the first black man to conquer Everest oxygen-supplement-free.

This was a risky affair and a brush with death but he was willing to push the human limits. More than 300 people have died ever since the first men, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norway, successfully dared to reach the peak of Mt. Everest in 1953.

KCB Group CEO Paul Russo described Kirui as a “true Kenyan hero”.

“Mr Kirui was a rare professional banker who, over the years, literally carried Kenya’s and Africa’s flag to global heights in his mountaineering quest. He remains an icon and an inspiration to many,” he said.