Friday 18 October 2019

Want to reach the summit of Everest? Just wait your turn

This photo shows heavy traffic of mountain climbers lining up to stand at the summit of Mount Everest. Photo: AFP PHOTO / PROJECT POSSIBLE
This photo shows heavy traffic of mountain climbers lining up to stand at the summit of Mount Everest. Photo: AFP PHOTO / PROJECT POSSIBLE

Ben Farmer

Waiting patiently in single file, exhausted and within touching distance of their goal, hundreds of climbers this week became stuck for hours in a human traffic jam near the summit of the world's highest peak.

Mount Everest recorded what is thought to have been one of its busiest days on Wednesday, as 200 to 300 mountaineers used a window of good weather to push for the summit. The combination of clear weather and Everest's congested slopes combined to leave them stuck in a tailback for hours at high altitude.

Photographs of the scene showed a solid line of climbers waiting for their turn to reach the 8,848m (29,029ft) peak.

The congestion was blamed for two climbers dying after a lengthy wait at more than 8,000m.

Ben Fogle, the TV adventurer and UN patron of the wilderness, said: "Nepal and Tibet/China need to limit the number of climbers with a London Marathon-style lottery for climbing permits."

Donald Lynn Cash (55), an American, and Anjali Kulkarni (55) died while descending after reaching the summit on Wednesday. Thupden Sherpa, manager of Mrs Kulkarni's expedition agency, told 'The Kathmandu Post' she had died of "exhaustion".

"Anjali and her husband were forced to wait for hours to reach the summit as there was a long queue," he said.

The deaths came a day after officials claimed the problem had been eased by setting up a timetable for climbers.

Irish Independent

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