A 34-year-old Australian woman who attempted to climb Mount Everest to prove that vegans are not ‘malnourished and weak’ has died.
University lecturer Maria Strydom perished from a lack of oxygen in Nepal on Saturday afternoon after having to turn back from the final leg of her expedition because she felt unwell,the Washington Post reports.
She, along with her husband Robert Gropel, challenged themselves to overcome Everest to show that ‘vegans can do anything’.
Dr Strydom had said that climbing Everest while adhering to a strict vegan diet was their ‘own personal Everest.’
Dr Strydom, who worked at Monash University, decided to turned back from her attempt to reach thesummit and was assisted down to the South Col by Mr Gropel.
After spending the night there, shewalked out of her tent to continue the descent, only to collapse on the Geneva Spur, two hours from Camp 3 where helicopterevacuations are possible.
The expedition leader said Mr Gropel, who himself suffered highaltitude pulmonary oedema on the descent, tried unsuccessfullyto carry his wife’s body down the mountain.
He was taken by helicopter to Kathmandu on Monday. For the past two years the mountain has been untouched by climbers because avalanches and safety fears.