Climber Joshua Cheruiyot's body to remain on Mt Everest, family says

Joshua Cheruiyot Kirui is the fourth person to die on Everest this climbing season. [BBC]

The family of the climber Joshua Cheruiyot who lost his life scaling Mt Everest has decided to let his body remain at the world’s highest point.

The family said they would only organise a memorial ceremony to bring together the family, relatives, and friends to celebrate his life.

They said following extensive consultations, they resolved to abandon the risky repatriation mission.

Stephen Kenduiywa who spoke to The Standard in Nandi county revealed that consultations with the Mt Everest Summit experts, made them reach the decision to ‘bury’ the body of their loved one in an unusual place.

“It took us about a week to talk to various family friends and the community of trekkers on Everest, and the evacuation proved not feasible in any way,” Kenduiywa said.

In a press statement on Wednesday, the family said they could not risk losing more lives in the attempt to retrieve Cheruiyot’s body.

“Cheruiyot had a profound love for the mountains and they loved him in return. We find solace in knowing he rests in his happy place,” reads the statement.

The late Cheruiyot, who worked for Kenya Commercial Bank in Nairobi, died alongside his guide Nawang Sherpa on May 22, 2024, on Mt Everest.

"Cheruiyot fell into a crevasse 48 meters from the summit (8,848 meters) and retrieving his body from that high up would be risky for the rescue team, the family does not wish to endanger any life," reads the statement. 

Mt Everest summit is 29,029 feet above sea level and is located in the 'Death Zone' where the pressure of oxygen is insufficient to sustain human life.

Earlier on April 18, Cheruiyot posted on his social media accounts about his intentions to climb Mt Everest without supplemental oxygen.

Sadly, he did not make it to the summit. 

“We find solace in knowing he rests in his happy place,” said Cheruiyot’s family.

The family extended their gratitude to relatives, friends, and the outdoor community for the love and condolences.

“We specifically acknowledge the massive support we have received from the KCB Group family, where Joshua worked,” they said.

They also thanked the Seven Summit Treks for their support, information and guidance.

Cheruiyot joins the list of more than 300 people who have died on Mt Everest.

The family said that a memorial service will be held in Nairobi and Chepterit village.