KATHMANDU, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Four bodies of climbers were reportedly found on Wednesday morning inside a tent in the Camp IV, the last camp before the summit of the world's highest peak Qomolangma, expedition organizers said.
If the deaths are confirmed, the death toll of this year's spring climbing season will reach nine.
Nepal's Department of Tourism (DoT), the authorized government body to issue expedition permits, is yet to confirm the deaths.
Dinesh Bhattarai, Director General at DoT, denied commenting on the issue.
An expedition company Seven Summit Trek official quoted the Sherpa guides as saying that they spotted the bodies of four climbers in Camp IV, while they were on the way to retrieve the body of a Slovak solo climber, who died on Sunday.
Sherpa guides in the base camp told Xinhua over phone that they are unaware about latest developments in the higher camps.
"We also heard about spotting of four dead bodies including three Nepali and one foreigner in Camp IV. But since there is no communication measures in such higher camps, we are unable to confirm," Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation told Xinhua.
Mount Qomolangma has already recorded five deaths this climbing season which begins in March and runs through the end of May.
May is regarded as the perfect window for Qomolangma expedition in terms of favorable weather between winter and monsoon.
Indian climber Ravi Kumar, American doctor Roland Yearwood, Slovak climber Vladimir Strba died over the weekend, and two climbers died earlier.
More than 4,000 people have scaled the world's tallest peak since 1953 while over 280 climbers have died during their attempts.
Altogether 40 expedition teams comprising 371 climbers from various countries had received permit for this spring season. Since a team of 14 climbers had opened the route to summit on May 15, nearly 200 climbers have conquered the peak utilizing the different fair summit windows.
"Nearly 200 climbers are estimated to have made successful attempts till today, but we don't have exact records. We do have our staffs stationed in the base camp, but communication is very poor," Kamal Parajuli, an official at Mountaineering section at DoT, told Xinhua on Wednesday.
2017 has the highest number of climbers till date since the first expedition in 1953, according to government statistics.
There were no expeditions in the spring of 2015 due to avalanches triggered by the devastating earthquake that killed 19 climbers, including high-altitude guides and helpers.
There was no expedition in 2014 as 16 Sherpa guides were killed in an avalanche near Qomolangma Base Camp.