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In Wake of Everest Deaths, Another "Traffic Jam" Expected
National Geographic News ^ | 5/22/12 | Ker Than

Posted on 05/22/2012 6:31:23 PM PDT by mkleesma

Just days after four people died on Mount Everest during a rush by climbers to take advantage of favorable weather, experts say a similar "traffic jam" scenario could play out this weekend.

The four climbers were among approximately 200 who summited the world's tallest mountain this past weekend during the first of only two summit windows available this season—each just two or three days long.

"Normally the summit bids might get spread out over a number of days, but what happened this year is the weather was bad"—too little snow, for example, left too much slippery ice exposed—"so teams that might have normally climbed earlier didn't go," said Eric Simonson, Himalaya-program director at the Washington State-based travel service International Mountain Guides (IMG), which arranges Everest climbs.

Having a large number of people attempting to summit simultaneously inevitably leads to delays, which on Everest can be deadly.

"Whoever's the slowest up at the front will hold up everybody," said veteran climber Ed Viesturs, speaking from Idaho.

"By the time some people get to the top, they're pretty wiped out, and they've probably climbed for longer than they planned, and they've used a lot of the oxygen they depend on for the way down," added Viesturs, who has summited Everest seven times.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.nationalgeographic.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: death; everest
Unbelievable, and truly tragic.
1 posted on 05/22/2012 6:31:28 PM PDT by mkleesma
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To: mkleesma
They are all following the beat of a different drummer.

In lockstep.

2 posted on 05/22/2012 6:34:27 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: mkleesma
200 people clogging the upper slopes and getting in each others' way. Kind of takes the panache off the accomplishment--like bumper to bumper traffic to see Yosemite. Nepal needs to manage this and limit the number of climbers to a far lower number.
3 posted on 05/22/2012 6:36:03 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard

I see stupid people on top of a mountain, really cold stupid people.


4 posted on 05/22/2012 6:39:27 PM PDT by 9422WMR (Life is not fair, just deal with it.)
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To: 9422WMR

It’s just the lack of oxygen to the brain.


5 posted on 05/22/2012 6:52:29 PM PDT by palmer (Jim, please bill me 50 cents for this completely useless post)
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To: mkleesma
Mt. Everest is the worlds highest garbage dump.

'Leave no trace' goes out the window for those bums. If ya bring it in, take it out.

6 posted on 05/22/2012 6:56:32 PM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: mkleesma
Lemmings.

I'm pretty sure it would be fun to go to the fern bar with the photos, but I still don't get the point.

7 posted on 05/22/2012 7:04:14 PM PDT by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: palmer

Then what was the cause of the decision to spend $50,000 to freeze your ass off and risk your life?


8 posted on 05/22/2012 7:10:15 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.)
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To: Theoria

I believe if someone dies up there, they leave the body.


9 posted on 05/22/2012 7:22:32 PM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: mkleesma

Nature has a way of weeding out stupid people.


10 posted on 05/22/2012 7:24:53 PM PDT by tx_eggman (Liberalism is only possible in that moment when a man chooses Barabas over Christ.)
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To: elkfersupper
"Mount Everest. Forbidding, aloof, terrifying. The mountain with the biggest tits in the world."

*Gong* Start Again!


11 posted on 05/22/2012 7:27:25 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: All


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12 posted on 05/22/2012 7:38:47 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Theoria
So true. Aside from the piles of debris and discarded tanks, there are over 200 bodies. It's a very morbid situation as it's nearly impossible by a certain altitude to retrieve those bodies.

Dead bodies on Everest - use discretion as there are photos of the dead.

13 posted on 05/22/2012 7:41:46 PM PDT by Caipirabob (I say we take off and Newt the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...)
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To: mkleesma

From 2010:

Team sets out to clear bodies from Everest’s death zone

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/19/mount-everest-death-zone-clean


14 posted on 05/22/2012 8:01:22 PM PDT by beaversmom
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To: Theoria

Talk about your pile of penguin stuff on a frozen polar ice pack.


15 posted on 05/22/2012 8:31:10 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: beaversmom

I’m sorry, but these deaths weren’t “tragic.” The Japan and Malaysian tidal wave deaths of innocents were tragic,

These folks made deliberate calculations that went about as the odds predicted.

I do stupid stuff, too. When it catches up with me, it won’t be tragic.

Oldplayer


16 posted on 05/22/2012 8:42:10 PM PDT by oldplayer
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To: palmer
"It’s just the lack of oxygen to the brain."

Or, lack of a "Brain" with oxygen.


In reality, there are just too many amateurs these days who have the means to think they can try to attempt some spectacular feat for personal bragging rights or to try to impress others that gets them killed. It reminds me of the old and "true" statement:

"A sucker is born every minute."

Today, it seems every second a sucker is born.


17 posted on 05/22/2012 10:20:42 PM PDT by Torquay
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To: palmer
"It’s just the lack of oxygen to the brain."

Or, lack of a "Brain" with oxygen.


In reality, there are just too many amateurs these days who have the means to think they can try to attempt some spectacular feat for personal bragging rights or to try to impress others that gets them killed. It reminds me of the old and "true" statement:

"A sucker is born every minute."

Today, it seems every second a sucker is born.


18 posted on 05/22/2012 10:20:50 PM PDT by Torquay
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To: Ken H
I believe if someone dies up there, they leave the body.

Yep there is no way to carry a body down from that altitude and terrain.

One of the major issues is that th Nepalese government isn't regulating the expeditions that can be on the mountain. They let it get too crowded and the summit windows are so small that everyone tries to go at the same time. Summit days often begin at midnight and if you have good weather and no traffic jams it will take 7-8 hours to reach the summit. The issue is when climbers a) run into health issues in the death zone (HAPE or HACE or dehydration) and or b) they just aren't experienced enough to climb at that altitude and they slow down. You simply cannot "pass" them on the route as the ropes are fixed (by the Sherpas) and the backups often occur on places like the Hillary step and another place on a different approach where the climbers have to climb a 100 foot ladder. All the people behind them can do is wait and they waste that time breathing bottled oxygen. Then they aren't even HALF WAY on the whole round trip. Most climbers die on the way back down.

Another huge issue is that the expedition leaders don't make the tough calls to get their climbers down if they can't make it to the summit in time. The absolute best leader is Russell Brice who remains at ABC and watches his climbers with a telescope and is in constant radio contact with them. He has pulled climbers less than 200 vertical feet from the summit because the window closed to get back down. If I were to ever attempt Everest I would use a guide like Brice. Too many wild cards otherwise.

19 posted on 05/23/2012 3:40:01 PM PDT by Wyatt's Torch (I can explain it to you. I can't understand it for you.)
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