A long queue is not exactly what you expect at the top of the world’s highest mountain: Everest, but it still happens. Last Wednesday, more than three hundred people ventured into the climb, creating a traffic jam, as can be seen on a special photo. The waiting time may have contributed to the death of two climbers.
Climber Nirmal Purja put the photo on Facebook after he himself reached the summit of Mount Everest. According to him, it was quite busy on Wednesday. Due to the rare mild weather, there were about 320 people who all made the journey up at the same time.
That caused a long queue that twisted all the way to the top of the mountain. Such a file is not only annoying, but also quite dangerous. At an altitude of over 8,000 meters, it is ice cold and there is little oxygen in the air. While waiting, there is a greater chance that climbers will get cold wounds or become unwell.
Two more people died during the climb last week. Both were reportedly delayed by the long waiting times. For example, there is 55-year-old Donald Cash who reached the top on Wednesday but collapsed on the way back.
His two accompanying sherpas would have had to wait up to two hours before they could descend, Outside reports. 54-year-old Anjali Kulkarni also did not survive her climb. It took her group three hours longer to return to base camp. “Due to the heavy pressure [Wednesday] and the delay in returning, she was unable to maintain her energy,” the group leader told The New York Times.
The total number of deaths on the highest mountain peak is therefore seven. Only five people died last year. According to observers, at least a part of the deaths can be attributed to the large crowds on the mountain.
The number of mountain climbers on Mount Everest has increased sharply since the climbs in the 1990s were liberalized by the Nepalese government. That is why very commercial expeditions have been started. The Nepalese government has granted a record number of 378 climbing permits to climbers for this year. That is lucrative for the poor country because alpinists have to pay the equivalent of 10,000 euros to get to Mount Everest.
The total number of climbers is also higher because some also start the climb via Tibet. So far more than 5,000 people have managed to reach the summit of Mount Everest.