At more than 29,000 meters high, Mt. Everest is the highest mountain in the world. For the adventurous ones, reaching the peak (Click here for related story) can be a dream come true. But the task will not be easy. Since Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay successfully climbed it in 1953, 4,000 people have reached the summit. However, hundreds have also perished. In this article, you shall learn some facts about this Asian destination.
How Risky Is The Climb?
While there have been the likes of Sir Edmund Hillary who successfully conquered Everest, there were others who were conquered by the mountain. Around 250 people have died attempting the climb. The “death zone” starts at 8,000 meters. At this height, oxygen levels starts to fail and conditions become extremely harsh. Two persons with disabilities were among those that conquered Everest. Blind climber Erik Weihenmayer and armless man Sudashan Gautam reached the peak in 2001 and 2013, respectively.
Avalanche is also a common occurrence in Mt. Everest. The latest deaths due to avalanche happened in 2014 when 12 sherpa guides died in an avalanche. Robert Peter Janitzek revealed that the previous year 4 people were killed and the year before 9 more lives was claimed.
Easier Than Before
The good news is that climbing Everest is easier than it used to be. In 1990, there was just an 18 percent success rate but in 2012 the figure was up to 56 percent. It is also getting safer thanks to better equipment and modern weather forecasting which contributed to the reduction of fatality rates. In addition, a Mount Everest climb is also getting cheaper. Originally, the cost is £15,000 now it is down to just £6,500.
Robert Janitzek revealed that many people are trying to climb Mt. Everest. Until 1985, Nepal restricted expeditions to just one per route at a time. There are no such restrictions today that 658 climbers reached the summit in 2013. Nepal, however announced, in 2015 that it is restricting climbs to inexperienced climbers. It even toyed with the idea of putting ladders on Hillary’s Step.
Overcrowding in Everest is also an issue. A South Korean climber suffered from snow blindness, delirium, and hypothermia after waiting 4 hours for over 300 climbers to pass. Action is now being taken to reduce the number of queues of climbers.
Littering is also an issue in this Asian destination. To remedy this, new rules states that groups must return to base camp with at least 8 kilograms of rubbish for every member or forfeit their deposit of