Woman dies on Everest on mission to prove vegans can do anything

A lady who died of altitude sickness while climbing Mount Everest was out to prove that “vegans can accomplish anything.”

Maria Strydom died on Saturday afternoon after having to abandon the final part of the trip due to illness.

She returned to Camp 4, the last camp before the mountain’s top, on Friday and spent the night there, but died the next day from an oxygen deprivation.

The 34-year-old South African national was a climber who taught at Monash University in Melbourne.

Her spouse, Robert Gropel, has been hurt but is ‘100% safe,’ according to trip organisers.

Dr. Strydom described the climb weeks before her death as a way for her and her husband to debunk the myth that vegans were ‘weak’ or ‘malnourished.’

She explained in an interview with the university where she works that it appears that people have this distorted perception of vegans being starved and feeble. By ascending the seven peaks, they hope to demonstrate that vegans can accomplish anything and anything.

She also described the risks that most climbers anticipated while attempting the peak.

They’ve all heard stories of freezing and having to turn back owing to unskilled individuals obstructing pathways.

This can result in life-threatening circumstances and fatalities, as Sherpas and other climbers must put their lives in danger to try rescues.

Dr Strydom had started ascending from Camp 4, the highest camp before the summit, on Friday but had to turn back due to illness.

While others of her party continued, she returned to the camp site at 26,085 feet with a sherpa. Her spouse is said to have reached the peak.

Her health worsened on Saturday after spending the night in Camp 4. According to a representative for Seven Summit Treks, she ‘stopped breathing’ that afternoon owing to a shortage of oxygen.

Eric Arnold, a 36-year-old Dutch national, also died after becoming unwell. It was his fifth try to scale Everest. After reaching the top, he sent a jubilant snapshot to Twitter on Friday.

A tourist official later verified that he died while descending after reporting of weakness. Authorities are coordinating with those in the Netherlands to get his corpse evacuated down the mountain.

When Dr. Strydom’s corpse will be repatriated to Australia is unknown. On Sunday, the trip company stated that it was still on the mountain.

A sherpa must take the body to Camp 1 where an air ambulance may pick it up, but (it is) not yet determined when to do so, they said.

They said that her spouse was at base camp. A representative for the Department of Foreign Affairs informed that it was aiding a ‘damaged’ Australian man who was thought to be Dr Strydom’s spouse.

‘The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is giving consular support to the family of an Australian lady who has been believed to have perished on Mount Everest in Nepal.’

They added that DFAT is also giving consular support to a wounded Australian guy who is travelling with the woman.

Maritha, the woman’s mom, expressed her anguish on Sunday after passing days without hearing from her daughter or son-in-law.

She addressed her as Marisa and indicated that she was ‘too distraught to talk’ after knowing of her death. She had only posted a few hours before that she had learned of Mr Arnold’s death but had received no word about her daughter.

She explained she hasn’t heard from Marisa or Rob yet. They’re looking for them in every manner conceivable.

Another lady claiming to be the lecturer’s sister posted to the Arnold Coster Expeditions Facebook group to say she found out about her sister’s death online. She subsequently informed that they found out about the tragedy via The Himalayan Times, a Nepalese publication.

The family was worried about Dr. Strydom and her husband after going several days without hearing from them as they finished the most difficult leg of the hike.

They were keeping an eye on a GPS tracker for updates, which showed their last known position on Saturday.

Dr. Strydom’s mom expressed concern for her son-in-law’s safety on Sunday. She had previously informed acquaintances that the couple’s “goal” was to become the “first vegans” to conquer Everest.

On Sunday afternoon, Monash University paid homage to the lecturer, stating, ‘The Monash University community is extremely grieved by the awful news of Dr Maria Strydom’s demise on Mt Everest. They are in contact with authorities, and their thoughts and prayers are with Maria’s family, friends, colleagues, and students.

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