Australian climber dies while descending from Everest summit

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Dutch Climber Dies on Everest Descent

KATHMANDU/MELBOURNE, May 22 (Reuters) - A 34-year-old Australian woman has died while descending from the summit of Mount Everest, local officials in Kathmandu said on Sunday, the second death on the world's highest mountain in as many days.

The death of Maria Strydom on Saturday was also confirmed by Monash University in Melbourne, where she worked as a lecturer. Officials in Nepal said efforts were being made to take her body down from the mountain.

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The fatality was the second on Everest this year and could hit mountaineering in Nepal, where a massive quake last year killed at least 18 people at Everest Base Camp.

On Friday, Dutch climber Eric Ary Arnold died after reaching the summit of 8,850-meter (29,035 feet) Everest.

Strydom, part of the same group as Arnold, developed altitude sickness while descending from Camp Four, located at about 8,000 meters (26,246 feet), the Kathmandu-based company that organized her expedition said.

"We are waiting for the expedition leader and other climbers of the group to come down to base camp," said Pasang Phurba of the Seven Summits Treks.

"We will then discuss (retrieving) her body. It cannot be left to lie as it is there," he told Reuters.

See the aftermath of the deadly avalanche that hit Mt. Everest:

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Everest post-avalanche - Nepal earthquake
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Australian climber dies while descending from Everest summit
Shoes and camping gear lie strewn about after an avalanche hit the area on Saturday at Everest Base Camp, Nepal, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. An avalanche on Saturday, set off by the massive earthquake that struck Nepal, left more than a dozen people dead and dozens more injured. (AP Photo/Nima Namgyal Sherpa)
Camping gear lie strewn about after an avalanche struck the area on Saturday, at Everest Base Camp, Nepal, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. An avalanche on Saturday, set off by the massive earthquake that struck Nepal, left more than a dozen people dead and dozens more injured. (AP Photo/Nima Namgyal Sherpa)
People gather camping and climbing equipment that was earlier strewn about after an avalanche hit the area on Saturday at Everest Base Camp, Nepal, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. An avalanche on Saturday, set off by the massive earthquake that struck Nepal, left more than a dozen people dead and dozens more injured. (AP Photo/Nima Namgyal Sherpa)
Mountain guides and climbers stand beside camping and climbing gear gathered together after an avalanche hit the area, at Everest Base Camp, Nepal, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Saturday's quake unleashed an avalanche that buried part of the base camp packed with foreign climbers preparing for summit attempts. (AP Photo/Nima Namgyal Sherpa)
In this photo provided by Azim Afif, a helicopter prepares to rescue people from camp 1 and 2 at Everest Base Camp, Nepal on Monday, April, 27, 2015. On Saturday, a large avalanche triggered by Nepal's massive earthquake slammed into a section of the Mount Everest mountaineering base camp, killing a number of people and left others unaccounted for. Afif and his team of four others from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) all survived the avalanche. (Azim Afif via AP)
A rescue chopper prepares to land, carrying people from higher camps to Everest Base Camp, Nepal, Monday, April 27, 2015. An avalanche on Saturday, set off by the massive earthquake that struck Nepal, left more than a dozen people dead and dozens more injured. (AP Photo/Nima Namgyal Sherpa)
This photo provided by Azim Afif, shows a small avalanche on Pumori mountain as seen from Everest Base Camp, Nepal on Sunday, April 26, 2015. On Saturday, a large avalanche triggered by Nepal's massive earthquake slammed into a section of the Mount Everest mountaineering base camp, killing a number of people and left others unaccounted for. Afif and his team of four others from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) all survived the avalanche. (Azim Afif via AP)
In this photo provided by Azim Afif people approach the scene after an avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake swept across Everest Base Camp, Nepal on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Afif and his team of four others from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) all survived the avalanche. (Azim Afif via AP)
In this photo provided by Azim Afif a man approaches the scene after an avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake swept across Everest Base Camp, Nepal on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Afif and his team of four others from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) all survived the avalanche. (Azim Afif via AP)
This photo provided by Azim Afif shows the scene after an avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake swept across Everest Base Camp, Nepal on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Afif and his team of four others from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) all survived the avalanche. (Azim Afif via AP)
This photo provided by Azim Afif shows the scene after an avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake swept across Everest Base Camp, Nepal on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Afif and his team of four others from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) all survived the avalanche. (Azim Afif via AP)
A sign showing the way to Everest Base Camp high in the Khumb Glacier stands among rocks on April 26, 2015, one day after an earthquake triggered avalanche swept through parts of the base camp killing scores of people. Rescuers faced a race against time on April 29, to find survivors of a mammoth earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people when it through Nepal five days ago and devastated large parts of one of Asia's poorest nations. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photograph taken on April 26, 2015, Buddhst prayer flags flutter in the wind near tents as a rescue helicopter takes off from Everest Base Camp, after an earthquake triggered avalanche crashed through parts of the base camp killing scores of people. Rescuers faced a race against time on April 29, to find survivors of a mammoth earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people when it through Nepal five days ago and devastated large parts of one of Asia's poorest nations. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photograph taken on April 26, 2015, rescuers use stretchers to carry the injured at Everest Base Camp, after an earthquake triggered avalanche crashed through parts of the base camp killing scores of people. Rescuers faced a race against time on April 29, to find survivors of a mammoth earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people when it through Nepal five days ago and devastated large parts of one of Asia's poorest nations. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photograph taken on April 26, 2015, rocks are kept over flattened tents at Everest Base Camp, to cover the bodies of some of the people that died a day earlier as an earthquake triggered avalanche crashed through parts of the base camp killing scores of people. Rescuers faced a race against time on April 29, to find survivors of a mammoth earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people when it through Nepal five days ago and devastated large parts of one of Asia's poorest nations. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
An injured person is helped to a landing area to be loaded onto a rescue helicopter at Everest Base Camp on April 26, 2015, a day after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake devastated the camp. Rescuers in Nepal are searching frantically for survivors of a huge quake on April 25, that killed nearly 2,000, digging through rubble in the devastated capital Kathmandu and airlifting victims of an avalanche at Everest base Camp. The bodies of those who perished lie under orange tents. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
This general view shows Everest Base Camp on April 26, 2015, a day after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake devastated the camp. Rescuers in Nepal are searching frantically for survivors of a huge quake on April 25, that killed nearly 2,000, digging through rubble in the devastated capital Kathmandu and airlifting victims of an avalanche at Everest base camp. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepali sherpas and other Nepali members of expeditons watch as an unseen rescue helicopter takes off with the injured from Everest Base Camp on April 26, 2015, a day after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake devastated the camp. Rescuers in Nepal are searching frantically for survivors of a huge quake on April 25, that killed nearly 2,000, digging through rubble in the devastated capital Kathmandu and airlifting victims of an avalanche at Everest base camp. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
An injured person is loaded onto a rescue helicopter at Everest Base Camp on April 26, 2015, a day after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake devastated the camp. Rescuers in Nepal are searching frantically for survivors of a huge quake on April 25, that killed nearly 2,000, digging through rubble in the devastated capital Kathmandu and airlifting victims of an avalanche at Everest base Camp. The bodies of those who perished lie under orange tents. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
This general view shows Everest Base Camp on April 26, 2015, a day after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake devastated the camp. Rescuers in Nepal are searching frantically for survivors of a huge quake on April 25, that killed nearly 2,000, digging through rubble in the devastated capital Kathmandu and airlifting victims of an avalanche at Everest base camp. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
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He also said one Indian climber suffering from frost bite was rescued from Camp Two, situated at about 6,400 meters (21,000 feet).

Last year's earthquake forced hundreds of climbers to abandon their expeditions. The temblor, the worst in Nepal's recorded history, killed 9,000 people across the Himalayan nation.

More than 350 climbers have reached the top of Everest this month from the Nepali side of the mountain while several people have climbed from Tibet.

Among them was 19-year-old Alyssa Azar, who on Saturday became the youngest Australian to summit Everest, and Lhakpa Sherpa, who notched a new record for woman climbers with her seventh ascent.

(Reporting by Gopal Sharma in KATHMANDU and Jarni Blakkarly in MELBOURNE; Editing by Ryan Woo and Rupam Jain)

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