Climber left to die after going blind on Mt. Everest

Climber left to die after going blind on Mt. Everest

Credit: AP

Mount Everest

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by KING5.com Staff

KING5.com

Posted on June 2, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 2 at 12:52 PM

MOUNT EVEREST – A climbing team was forced to leave a British man to die on Mount Everest after he went blind at the summit last week.

According to the British newspaper The Independent, Peter Kinloch, 28, suddenly went blind after just a few minutes on the roof of the world at 29,035 feet.

Kinloch's guides noticed that he seemed to lose coordination as the team was coming down the mountain. About an hour later, he reportedly admitted he could not see anything.

It took about four hours for the team leader and a Sherpa to help Kinloch descend just 1,000 feet. Eight hours and two sherpas later, the team realized that they were all in danger if they continued at the same pace. They were forced to abandon Kinloch to die in the cold.

The Independent reports Kinloch's body may never be recovered. He is the 30th person to die on the mountain in the past five years.

Retinal hemorrhages reportedly are a common complaint of mountain climbers. 

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