|Long line on Everest mountainwilderness.org|
Since 1990 the percentage of successful assault on Everest has gone up manifold from less than 20% to 67%. Thanks to good planning, well- charted routes (unlike 1960s), fixed ropes laid out by Sherpas before-hand, availability of better, lighter gear, accurate forecasts and more guides. Consequently, these factors have reduced the risks considerably and Mt Everest has become less adversary unlike before. An interesting fact is this season, the Nepal route will also see more women than ever before, with 76 female climbers attempting the feat.
|Long line on Mt. Everest. .sfgate.com|
We need to consider the following facts:
01. Between two routes available to reach Everest, the snow trail from Nepal is much safer and more popular than the route from the side of Tibet. The former route was first taken by Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay in 1953.
02. The route from Nepal being a familiar one, lots of prospective climbers prefer this one to the trail from Tibet.
03. It is easy to get permit from the Nepalese government to scale Everest. There was a huge traffic buildup in the summit after 380 permits were issued this season as compared to last year’s 365.
04. It is not so in the case of route from Tibet as China controls this region.
05. This year, the Spring climbing season has seen worst mishaps - ten in a short time. According to one Arizona doctor, '' It was like a zoo. Death on an unruly, overcrowded Everest.''
06. The Nepalese government issues too many permits and this causes over crowding at higher elevations. At higher altitude above 29000 feet altruism is put to work and there is no room for error. It is just one foot away from death.
07. The teams had to wait for long hours at oxygen starved higher altitude. This means the climbers are prone to severe frost bite, altitude sickness and other health problems. Pulmonary edima is a bad one. Further long wait may also result in verbal abuses and a may lead to tense situation.
08. With limited oxygen canisters to cover the oxygen-depleted zone, for the climbers, a delay of an hour or two can make the difference between life and death.
11.This year May 22 happened to be the busiest day on the world's highest mountain and the teams moved up at a snail's pace, risking frostbite, altitude sickness and, of course, altercation.
12. According to Peak Promotion, the overcrowding had congested the route from Camp IV to the top.
13. Caught in the traffic for several hours, many climbers suffered from exhaustion, dehydration and faced near- death situation. The long wait had an impact on their physical and mental well-being.
14. This year more deaths occurred to people who were held up in long lines on the last leg - 1000 feet or so of the climb, unable to ascend and descend fast enough to replenish their oxygen supply.
This year, the traffic jam has gotten so bad, many climbers risk their lives by standing in the slow moving line. Climbers were pushing and shoving to take selfies.
15. Besides over-crowding on Everest, the availability of fewer weather windows at high altitude has complicated the successful ascents and descents. Sometimes, the window can stretch for a long time - as long as two weeks and sometimes it can be a short -1 or 2 days as was the case this week, This year on 22-24 May many climbers tried their luck to summit the peak due to Clement weather.
16. Fly-by-night adventure companies, whose motive is to make fast buck, take in many poorly trained climbers who pose a risk not only to them, but also to others in the team.
17. The other causes are poor crowd management, unlimited permits, shoddy government regulation and corruption.
You may refer to my early