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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sherpa dies summiting Everest during cryptocurrency marketing stunt

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2015, file photo, Mt. Everest is seen from the way to Kalapatthar in Nepal. (Tashi Sherpa / AP)

A Sherpa is presumed dead after summiting Mt. Everest as part of a cryptocurrency marketing stunt.

The Ireland-based company ASKfm left $50,000 in cryptocurrency on the the world’s highest peak on May 14, as reported by Outside Online. ASKfm is a social network that allows people to ask and answer questions, much like Quora. The network pays people to answer and ask questions in cryptocurrency.

After returning to base camp the company praised its efforts in a news release. The release starts, “On May 14th, Mount Everest was conquered by four crypto enthusiasts in an expedition by ASKfm.”

The release is full of jargony buzz, including this sentence, “(In) a market where launching a blockchain endeavor is not really a newsbreak, companies have to stand out.”

The release fails to mention that during the descent the team of three Ukranians left behind one of their two Sherpas - 45-year-old Lam Babu Sherpa, according to an Outside Online article.

Lam Babu is presumed dead. He had summited Everest three times and has ascended several other peaks higher than 26,000 feet, Outside reports.

One of the three Ukrainian climbers, Dmitry Semerenko, criticized Lam Babu.

Semerenko told Outside author Alan Arnette, “We could tell by the look [of] them that they were inexperienced, and had to clarify if they [had] ever been to Everest before. They barely understood English and basically were porter Sherpas.”

The other Sherpa made it back to base camp.

Everest, once the crown-jewel of mountaineering, has become increasingly commercialized and accessible with professional guide services dragging climbers up by the dozen.

Still, at 29,029 feet, the mountain remains a serious threat. Roughly six people die attempting the climb each year.