5 Mt Everest climbers died during the past weekend. Approximately 200 people attempted to reach the summit of Everest last Friday & Saturday. Dangerous traffic jams caused climbers to waste time and energy and over expose themselves to the harsh elements of Everest’s “death zone.” There is no doubt that these traffic jams contributed to the 5 deaths over the weekend.
200 more climbers are expected to attempt Everest’s summit during the next weather window. This will create a duplicate of the past weekend’s “death zone” traffic jams…
“It’ll be another big weekend. There’ll be a number of teams that didn’t go with the first wave,” which he’s concerned could lead to dangerous conditions again. He added that the recent deaths will be fresh in climbers’ minds, spurring them to be more careful.” – Eric Simonson of International Mountain Guides
NPR thinks this traffic should be policed:
“It’s called the “traffic jam.” The weather near the summit of Mount Everest clears, and everyone who has ploughed up the slopes leading to the world’s highest peak tries to climb to the top at once. There are only a few hours to complete the last steps over the narrow way before climbers must turn back for the safety of their camps. Sometimes they run into trouble in the crowd.
That’s what happened to four climbers last weekend. Dr. Eberhard Schaaf of Germany, Song Won-bin of South Korea, and Canadian Shriya Shah died while trying to descend from the peak. There are new reports today that the body of Ha Wenyi of China was also discovered, according to USA Today.
Some 150 climbers then tried to summit at the same time. Here’s the trouble: Only so many people can ascend (and descend) the dangerous rock face known as the Hillary Step at the same time because only one rope is available. Some climbers are successful, including the oldest woman ever to scale Everest.
But while climbers wait hours for their turn to go up — and down — danger crops up. The Guardian talked to expeditionist Tom Briggs, who observed, “That’s a hell of a lot of standing around. That certainly increases the dangers of frostbite and other problems like high-altitude sickness.”
– Korva Coleman
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