Last week we reported that Mt Everest’s famous Hillary Step had been destroyed in the 2015 earthquake that struck Nepal. Now reports are coming in that a ‘large block’ of the step is missing, but the great section is still intact and is still there. So whats going on?
The Hillary Step, a rocky outcrop at 8,770m, just beneath the summit of Everest (8,850m), has finally succumbed to gravity and partially collapsed. Reports that the Hillary Step, a rocky outcrop at 8,770m, just beneath the summit of Everest (8,850m), had collapsed were first made by mountaineer Tim Mosedale, who climbed the mountain this year. But his claim has been refuted by the chair of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
The problem is that the definitive answer is located only a few meters short of the top of the world.
It’s a big question because if the Hillary Step has indeed collapsed, the altered route may result in increasing congestion in the death zone.
As Mosedale told Planet Mountain:
It’s easier going up the snow slope and indeed for inexperienced climbers and mountaineers there’s less “climbing” to be done, making it much easier for them. However, it’s going to form a bottleneck. The Hillary Step often formed a bottleneck but some years ago they fixed an up and a down rope. In the current state it would be difficult to safely negotiate down where the step used to be on account of the huge unstable rocks that are perched on the route.