Mt. Everest Death Toll Reaches Seven For 2019 As Crowds Of People Wait In Line To Reach The Summit

Climbing Everest is so popular that long lines form near the top.

climbers at the summit of mt everest
WorldNavigata / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0 Cropped, resized.)

Climbing Everest is so popular that long lines form near the top.

Three people have died on Mt. Everest this week, bringing the number of people who have died this year attempting to summit the world’s highest mountain to seven, Yahoo News reports. Meanwhile, long lines of climbers choke the top of the mountain as the climb is so popular that the mountain can scarcely contain the number of people attempting to summit it.

The three who died this week are all believed to have died of exhaustion while descending from the summit, joining four others who have also died on the mountain this season.

The Mt. Everest climbing season lasts for a brief window each year in mid-late May, and hundreds of climbers crowd the slopes of the sacred mountain in order to achieve their goal of reaching its summit. In fact, so popular is the climb that it’s created some serious problems, not just for the climbers, but for the governments in the mountain’s shadow as well as for the mountain itself.

Traffic Jams

That only seven people have died on Mt. Everest this year is nothing short of miraculous, considering the crowds of people lined up to reach its summit. Should a storm pop up — and Everest is downright notorious for its sudden, deadly storms that pop up on a moment’s notice — it would be impossible for all of those hundreds of climbers to descend into safety. The death toll would be catastrophic.

What’s more, says Travel And Leisure, many of the climbers attempting to reach Everest’s peak have more money than climbing skill. Paying the requisite fees as well as for your spot on a guided tour is one thing, but being physically and mentally able to complete the task is another. Experienced mountaineer Tim Mosedale writes that he’s seen climbers attempting to scale the world’s highest peak while at the same time lacking knowledge of even the most basic of safety and mountaineering techniques.

Mountains Of Trash, Dead Bodies

The other problem caused by the popularity of Everest with climbers is the tons of trash left up there, to say nothing of the dead bodies littering the climb.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, on Mt. Everest every calorie of energy is precious beyond measure, which means that when climbers ditch equipment — food containers, oxygen tanks — it’s left where it falls. Similarly, when someone dies on the mountain, getting their body down is all but out of the question, considering the energy required to move them. Climbers routinely pass within feet of the bodies of their peers, perfectly preserved in the cold, dry climate – reportedly some of them have been there for decades.

The Nepalese government has attempted to alleviate the problem, both in requiring climbers to bring back an equivalent weight in gear to what they take up and in sending up teams to gather and remove trash.

Limiting The Number of Climbers?

This year, the Nepalese government issued 381 climbing permits, at a cost of about $11,000 each, to climbers hoping to scale the mountain. Preservation groups have called for the government to issue fewer permits to ease overcrowding on the mountain.