‘Traffic jam’ on Everest as two more climbers die reaching summit

A huge queue of climbers has formed near the summit of Mount Everest as expedition organisers reported two more deaths on the world’s highest mountain.

More than 200 climbers were taking advantage of clear weather on Wednesday to attempt to summit from both Nepal and China, but teams had to line up for hours to reach the top — risking frostbite and altitude sickness.

An American and Indian climber are the latest fatalities, their expedition organisers said, on one of the busiest-ever days on the 8,848-metre peak.

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Saray Khumalo is reflecting on an epic journey.  The South African reached the top of Mount Everest last week.

Saray Khumalo mount everest summit

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7 Responses to ‘Traffic jam’ on Everest as two more climbers die reaching summit

  1. Charles May 26, 2019 at 1:14 pm #

    What is heroic about any person climbing anything at all in a traffic jam of 200 people where injury and death is almost a given every year with overcrowding now the norm. Does it matter whether it is Lion’s Head or Everest. What is with the “authorities” whether on Everest or Lions Head allowing such a jam to occur in the first place. Then in the case of Lions Head why are tourists denied a safe one way passage up and down with decent steps or ladders where the risk of falling is high with resultant severe injury almost inevitable. The latest such injury resulted in paralysis of a young man age 25!

    https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/lions-head-accident-six-hour-rescue-mission-for-hiker-who-fell-50-metres-down-20190409

    This notion that to risk one’s life and that far too often leave friends unfriended, parents without a child and children without a parent is an act of heroism when all one is doing is being herded up a non-technical mountain by Sherpas for huge sums of money is surely anything but an act of heroism.

    Why does the media promote this notion is heroic.

    What does it matter if you are the oldest, youngest, female, male, physically challenged, blind, deaf, black, yellow green or white It is an insanity.

    Just about anyone with money and time desire can now “climb” Everest. And everyone who does, if they make it, will have to step past a dead or dying person on the way up or down that they cannot “heroically” risk helping for fear of their own safety and their own ability to merely survive for any period of time up there.

    I just don’t get it that he people are so gullible to be “inspired” by it and that climbing Everest almost guarantees one a living as a motivational speaker.

    The mind boggles.

  2. Andrew Pedley May 27, 2019 at 10:00 am #

    well said Charles, its all about EGO. Climbing Mt Everest is only about EGO, so people can say ‘I have climbed Everest’. There are thousands of unclimbed lines and peaks out there, requiring much more heroism and imagination, even stuff in SA. Being on a Everest full of people is plain ridiculous an I don’t even rate it highly as an achievement any more.

  3. Nic Le Maitre May 27, 2019 at 2:06 pm #

    The best solution that I have heard is to simply ban the use of bottled oxygen. Less litter, less logistical footprint, fewer people needed as porters per climber and less masking of the symptoms of HAPE and HACE so more people will turn around at the mean physiological maximum of around 6-6.5km altitude so fewer deaths. Those that do become sick will also be in a better position to be rescued.

  4. Colin Derek Crabtree Jun 2, 2019 at 3:03 pm #

    Well said @charles, @andrew and @Nic. Everest is so yesterday with all its commercialism. Am so over hearing stories of ascents. Kinda feels these tourists are pissing on the graves of many a true mountain pioneer and adventurer.

  5. Justin Lawson Jun 2, 2019 at 9:41 pm #

    Everest Needs to Go More Commercial
    Letting the private sector manage it would reduce overcrowding and improve safety. The world’s highest mountain is experiencing one of its deadliest climbing seasons on record.
    –> https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-31/everest-s-deadly-climber-toll-has-a-commercial-solution

    VIP line to be introduced at Everest to help wealthy climbers skip queue
    –> https://chaser.com.au/general-news/vip-line-to-be-introduced-at-everest-to-help-wealthy-climbers-skip-queue/

    Everest climbers describe chaotic ‘Lord of the Flies’ situation near the peak, with fights breaking out amid unruly overcrowding
    –> https://www.businessinsider.co.za/climbers-react-crowds-mount-everest-2019-5

  6. Nic Le Maitre Jun 7, 2019 at 7:40 am #

    @Justin, I’m pretty sure that the Chaser story is satire…

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