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Saray Khumalo still waiting on Mount Everest as retrieval of bodies continues

The helicopters that are set to transport Saray Khumalo and others to the nearby airport are still retrieving the bodies of climbers who died on the mountain.

South African mountaineer Saray Khumalo. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - It's still unclear when South African mountain climber Saray Khumalo will return to the country as she is still stuck at Mount Everest base camp.

Khumalo's friend Erika Gibson said the helicopters that are set to transport her to the nearby airport were still retrieving the bodies of climbers who died.

Eleven people are believed to have lost their lives on the mountain in the past few weeks and their bodies must be removed before the climbing season comes to an end.

Khumalo arrived at the base camp on Saturday after making history as the first African black woman to summit the world's highest mountain.

Gibson said they were waiting for the retrieval process to be completed before they can leave the base.

“There is a bit of traffic on the mountain, but the helicopters have been employed at this stage and the priority is not to bring the climbers down yet.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)