Skip to comments.In Wake of Everest Deaths, Another "Traffic Jam" Expected
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 seasoneach 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 ...
I see stupid people on top of a mountain, really cold stupid people.
It’s just the lack of oxygen to the brain.
'Leave no trace' goes out the window for those bums. If ya bring it in, take it out.
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.
Then what was the cause of the decision to spend $50,000 to freeze your ass off and risk your life?
I believe if someone dies up there, they leave the body.
Nature has a way of weeding out stupid people.
*Gong* Start Again!
Team sets out to clear bodies from Everest’s death zone
Talk about your pile of penguin stuff on a frozen polar ice pack.
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.
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.