The Catch-up: Why are so many people dying on Mount Everest?


What happened?

An 11th climber has died trying to climb Mount Everest. Christopher Kulish, from Colorado, was killed on Monday trying to “achieve his dream”. Kulish’s death comes amid a spike in fatalities and fears of overcrowding near the summit. Another climber, Elia Saikaly, described in an Instagram post the “death, carnage and chaos” he experienced, which included having to walk past a dead body to reach the top.

How bad is it this year?

In a normal year, between 5 and 10 climbers lose their lives. The concern this year is that of the 11 killed, nine of those been in a space of just five days, which means this year is on course to be one of Everest’s deadliest so far. Close to 4,500 people have scaled the Everest summit since 1922 and more than 300 have died on its slopes.

Why are so many climbers dying?

There are rising concerns about the sheer number of people on the mountain. A record 381 mountaineers have been allowed to scale the summit this season leading to complaints of hours-long queues near the peak. One climber, Ed Dohring, told the New York Times there was pushing and shoving to take selfies and he even had to step around the body of a woman who had just died. Other experienced mountaineers have accused the Nepalese government and adventure companies of issuing permits to climbers who are nowhere near experienced - or fit - enough.

Read more:

Climber reveals Everest 'carnage' (The Telegraph)

Congestion leads to backlog of climbers in 'death zone' (The Guardian)

American becomes 11th person to die on mountain (The Independent)

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