Death toll climbs as massive storm hits Mount Everest

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A rescue team found the bodies of four climbers at Mount Everest amid what has become a more-deadly-than-usual climbing season. (KABC)

A massive storm has moved in to Mount Everest at the busiest time of year for climbers, leaving dozens trapped at the highest base camp.

Sherpa rescuers have found the bodies of four climbers inside a tent on the highest camp on Mount Everest, raising the death toll this climbing season to 10, authorities said Wednesday.

Many more climbers are in major trouble as ferocious winds have ripped life-saving tents right out of the ground.

It's feared the death toll could go much higher.

More climbing permits have been issued this year than ever before - more than 300.

The bodies were at Camp 4 at South Col, located at 26,247 feet, which is the last camp before climbers make their summit attempt.

With 10 fatalities, this season has exceeded what mountaineering officials say is a typical toll of six. Recent decades have brought improvements in climbing equipment, weather forecasting and reducing other dangers to climbers, keeping the death toll much lower than in the early decades on Everest.

The Nepalese Tourism Department issued a record 371 permits this year to people to scale the mountain. The increased number of climbers this year is likely because many people were unable to climb in 2014 and 2015, when deadly avalanches disrupted the climbing seasons.

Permits normally cost $11,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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