Mt. Everest Brawl: Sherpas Allegedly Attack Climbers

April 29, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Mt. Everest brawl: Climbers on Mt. Everest got into a brawl with local Sherpa guides, prompting an investigation from authorities in Nepal.

A team of three European climbers said they were attacked by Sherpas near the summit of the world’s tallest peak, reported the Daily Telegraph.

The violence took place at around 24,000 feet, or around 5,400 feet below the summit of Everest.

They said one Sherpa threatened them with an ice axe and they were later assaulted by a “mob” when they retreated to a lower camp. Locals also apparently threw stones at them later on.

They said their lives were saved by other Western climbers at Camp 2.

One Sherpa told the paper that the “poor English” of one of the Italian climbers may have led to the fight, causing a misunderstanding.

“The Sherpas told the team not to climb above them while they were fixing the ropes but they did it anyway. Then some ice fell and hit the Sherpas, which made them angry,” a witness told AFP.

In the rock-throwing incident, a mob of locals hit the climbers with stones until they came outside their tents. There were also alleged punches thrown.

“After a while the mob left, and the climbers packed up and walked past us down — as far as we knew they were leaving the mountain,” the witness said. “It was terrifying to watch — they nearly got killed.”

Police are currently investigating the matter.

“There was a slight misunderstanding and communication gap between them,” Dipendra Paudel, a tourism ministry spokesman, said after the incident according to the Telegraph. “This has been sorted out and the climbers are at the base camp.”