Traffic Jams on Everest: Road Rage Served Ice Cold

Image from Atte Miettinen’s climb up Mt. Everest
Photo: Atte Miettinen
This tight, snaking line of climbers is making a single-file ascent to the summit of Mt. Everest in late May, a period during which four climbers died. Unbelievable images like this, taken by a climber reporting for Emirates 24/7, illustrate the current situation that has Sherpas worried about dangerous congestion, especially near the mountain’s crown.  According to The Sun:

Four climbers died the weekend before last as 150 fought to the top of the world. It happened after they were reportedly held up for four hours at a 40-foot wall of rock known as the Hillary Step at 28,750 feet, forcing them to extend their climb and use up precious oxygen.

Critics say too many are attempting to summit at the same time and casualties are inevitable.

Pemba Dorje Sherpa said: “Two hundred people climbing the mountain is too many for one weekend. Twenty-five to 30 a day is okay but 200 is too many. You have many people waiting and waiting. They spend too long waiting at the top and they get frostbite. Waiting around on Everest is dangerous. Running out of oxygen can be a big problem.”

Still, the bucket-listers come, heedless that their view at the majestic summit may be of the backside of another climber’s North Face gear. Also goes to show, no matter how deep your understanding or kick-ass your skill set, traffic cops never get the respect.

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