Scott Fischer (1956- May 1996), an American climber and guide, was killed in the worst tragedy in the climbing history of Mount Everest. On May 10, 1996, Fischer, Anatoli Boukreev and Neil Beidelman guided eight of their clients to the summit of Everest. On the descent, the team was caught in a severe snow storm. All the climbers managed to reach camp IV on the South Col (7,900m/25,900'), except Fischer. Fischer, who had reached the summit at around 3:45pm, was having a lot of difficulties on the descent. Fischer was accompanied by sirdar Lopsang Sherpa, but just below the south summit, Fischer was unable to continue and finally coaxed Lopsang to descend. Lopsang did so, with the hopes that he would be able to send someone else back up with additional oxygen and help Fischer get down. Boukreev made several attempts to reach Fischer but turned back on the first two attempts due to the weather. Finally, around 7pm on May 11, Boukreev was able to reach Fischer's position, but unfortunately it was too late. Many speculate that Fischer had been suffering from a severe form of altitude sickness, either HACE or HAPE.
Fischer spent his early life in Michigan and New Jersey and took two years of climbing courses after being inspired by a show he saw on television. In 1982, he and his wife, Jeannie Price, moved west to Seattle, Washington where they raised two children. In the 1990s, Fischer would form his own adventure company called Mountain Madness, which he setup to guarantee clients the summit of the world's highest mountains for fees in the $50,000 USD range. For the 1996 Everest climb, the fee was closer to $65,000.
A memorial cairn for Scott Fischer can be found at the top of a hill near Lobuche, on the trail to Everest base camp.
An account of what happened in 1996 was described in the book The Climb by Anatoli Boukreev and Gary Weston DeWalt.