On Monday 1st May, American climber Jonathan Sugarman died in Camp II of Everest during an acclimatization ascent on the world’s highest peak. This is the fourth death on Everest in 2023.
Sugarman, 69, was part of an expedition led by International Mountain Guides (IMG). In a statement, company founder Eric Simonson acknowledged that one of the expedition’s climbers had died at Camp II, but he did not identify the person in question as Sugarman. “We can confirm that this event was not the result of a climbing accident or route condition that would be of potential impact or safety concern to any other teams on the mountain,” Simonson wrote. “The rest of the IMG climbing team is all doing as well as can be expected given the circumstances.”
Sugarman was a retired medical doctor from Seattle. He reached Camp 3 on Everest last year and ws hoping to turn that experience into a summit bid this year.
The IMG group did training on adjacent peaks for a week before venturing onto Everest on April 17 to begin acclimatization hikes to higher camps. On April 29, the group departed Everest Base Camp on another hike to higher elevation—half of the team made it to Camp II while some climbers stayed behind in Camp I. The remaining climbers arrived in Camp II on April 30, and the group planned to take a rest day on May 1 before pushing to Camp III on May 2.
According to Everest Chronicle, officials are currently attempting to bring Sugarman’s body to lower elevations.
He leaves behind his wife, Terese Sullivan, in Seattle and his daughter Maya Sugarman in Los Angeles.