The youngest Australian to conquer Everest has returned safely to Base Camp while the body of her fallen compatriot remains on the mountain.
Toowoomba teen Alyssa Azar sent word on social media she had completed her climb as details of the final hours of fallen Melbourne academic Maria “Marisa” Strydom have been revealed.
"Thanks everybody for your messages of support I am now back safely in Base Camp after an amazing climb and successful expedition," 19-year-old Azar wrote on Facebook.
Ms Azar's good news comes as the details about Dr Strydom's fated climb have been revealed by the expedition company she and her husband, Dr Rob Gropel, were trekking with.
Husband and wife contracted altitude sickness and decided to make their descent while the rest of the group continued to the summit.
Dr Strydom succumbed to altitude sickness on Saturday while Dr Gropel was flown to Kathmandu on Sunday, according to the trekking company Arnold Coster Expeditions.
Dutchman Eric Arnold, a mountaineer in the same climbing party, also died on the mountain.
The Melbourne finance lecture's family reportedly took some comfort in hearing her husband and fellow academic was holding her hand when she died, but they are angry with the climbing company for withholding details, News Corp reports.
Arnold Coster Expeditions published details on Facebook Monday of Dr Strydom's final days attempting to summit Everest.
"On 20 May our apparently perfect looking summit push turned into disaster," the company wrote.
Dr Strydom fell ill and turned around just above the Southern Summit "due to fatigue" while the party pushed for the top.
Her husband and several Sherpas tried to bring Dr Strydom down the mountain to South Col, but she spent 31 hours above 8000 metres in the "Death Zone", an area littered with the frozen bodies of fallen climbers.
"Marisa was doing well until the 'Balcony', but became very slow after this and decided to turn around on the South Summit at 8am in the morning.
"Normally this would give her enough time to descent safely, but her condition deteriorated rapidly," the company wrote.
Dr Strydom was "hardly able to move and became very confused" as they party was between the South Summit and the Balcony.
She was stabilised with oxygen and medicine and able to walk out of her tent the next morning, but two hours off Camp 3 – the first possible point for helicopter evacuation – she collapsed.
"Her Husband tried to retrieve her, but this was not possible anymore," the expedition company wrote.
Dr Strydom and Mr Arnold's bodies remain around the 8000-metre mark of the mountain. The company is organising a crew to retrieve the bodies.
More than 30 climbers have fallen sick or developed frostbite on Mount Everest in recent days, according to The Himalayan Times.
News break – May 24