Article alerts family to Mt Everest death
The family of Melbourne university lecturer Maria Strydom have hit out at the company behind her Mount Everest expedition after learning of her death on the internet.
A day later, Dr Strydom’s sister Aletta Newman says her family still hasn’t heard from Seven Summit Treks, despite it having spoken to media from Nepal.
‘We’ve never had official confirmation from the group organising the trek,’ she said on Sunday.
‘We just don’t have answers and we’d really like to have some.’
Ms Newman says she learned about her sister’s death after Googling her name on Saturday night and finding a news article from the Himalayan Times.
The Department of Foreign Affairs later confirmed she had died but she still doesn’t know the cause of death and is waiting for news about Maria’s husband Robert Gropel, who was also injured on the mountain and is waiting to be evacuated.
Dr Strydom was an experienced climber who has scaled mountains across the world, including Argentina’s Aconcagua and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Her family were very aware of the risks that came with climbing Everest and tracked her movements via GPS and were concerned on Friday when they stopped receiving ‘pings’ from the device she’d been carrying.
But they never really thought she’d die on the mountain.
‘We all knew that it came with a degree of risks, we looked up statistics and saw that there was about a three per cent fatality rate,’ she said.
‘So every time we had contact with her we thought You know this could potentially be the last time’, but you don’t really think you’re going to be that three per cent,’ she said.
Ms Newman described her sister as a very high achiever who always liked to challenge herself but said she was also very giving and helped her veterinarian husband care for injured animals.
‘She was very giving, very caring, always interested in family and always there to support her friends and family,’ she said.
Comment has been sought from Seven Summit Treks.