Newsflash: Alpinist.com will post more information on Joelle Brupbacher’s death as it becomes available.
Joelle Brupbacher of Switzerland died at Camp 3 (7400m) on Makalu (8481m) in the night of May 22 following a successful summit. A report from Explorersweb.com states that on the morning of May 22, “she became unable to move in camp 3.” Martin Ramos, who shared a permit with Brupbacher, reports on his blog that by 3pm they radioed for help seeking someone to bring oxygen to the camp at 7400m. Ramos writes “Dawa Sherpa offers to come up with oxygen to C3, but the head of Jagged Globe, a man named Robert [Anderson] denied permission.” [Translated from Spanish via Google Translate.] Instead a cook from Ramos’ expedition attempted to bring oxygen to C3 but was turned back above C2. Brupbacher died at 11:30 pm that night. Climbers Steve House and Marko Prezelj attempted to carry oxygen up an hour later, but turned back when they met climbers descending who informed them that it was too late.
Brupbacher started sport climbing but soon turned to larger mountains. Before her death she had climbed several other 8000m peaks including Dhaulagiri (8167m) in 2007. She was 33.
Alpinist.com contacted Jagged Globe for comment regarding the statements on Ramos’ blog and Explorersweb.com. Jagged Globe’s Director Tom Briggs told Alpinist.com“The rumors online are just not true. Dawa Shepa was sick at the time which is unusual for him. Also Robert was in communication with their doctor and C3. It would have taken 2 days for a climber to bring oxygen, or 12 hours for a sherpa, and it was determined that either way they would not be able to offer any useful assistance. She had already been out for over twenty-four hours without oxygen.”