A British mountain climber who died on an overcrowded Mt. Everest had warned of overcrowding on the mountain the day before, Yahoo News reports.
Robin Haynes Fisher is one of 10 people who have died on the slopes of the highest mountain in the world this season; the brief window during which it’s relatively “safe” to attempt to summit the mountain runs from mid to late May each year.
The day before he died, Fisher had warned of overcrowding on the mountain. In an Instagram post, he wrote of his fears of overcrowding on the mountain and even described how he’d changed his plans because of the large numbers of climbers and guides on the slopes.
“With a single route to the summit, delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game.”
In a statement from his family, Fisher was described as an experienced mountaineer and adventurer, who had climbed some of the highest peaks in the world, championed veganism, and loved Shakespeare.
It bears noting that Fisher’s death is not believed to have been directly related to overcrowding on the mountain; he had reached the summit and had descended a few hundred feet before he died. However, as The Independent reports, Fisher died in the so-called “Death Zone”; that is, the portion of the mountain where oxygen is scarce and climbers can die of oxygen starvation.
Climbing #MountEverest was Robin Fisher's 'ultimate goal', his partner said. The Staffordshire-born climber died after reaching the summit of the world's highest mountain this morning. Read more: https://t.co/5CvoFhNE5D pic.twitter.com/64QiHyqfQq— ITV News Central (@ITVCentral) May 25, 2019
This season, photos of long lines of climbers attempting to summit the mountain have flooded the internet.
The climber became the 10th person to die on the mountain this season, prompting calls for a limit on summit attempts https://t.co/QkSi6qa6WD— The Sunday Times (@thesundaytimes) May 26, 2019
In fact, nearly a thousand people are believed to have been on the mountain at any one time this season. The Nepalese government has issued 378 climbing permits, and each of those climbers is accompanied by a Sherpa guide, meaning that 756 or more people have crowded the mountain.
And should a sudden storm pop up on the mountain, which is notorious for violent and deadly storms that pop up out of nowhere, the lines of people crowding the summit would have to descend quickly. That would be almost impossible due to the crowds, and the death toll could be catastrophic.
American doctor Ed Dohring describes, via The New York Times, a chaotic scene on the mountain, where inexperienced and unruly climbers jostle each other out of the way for selfies.
“It was like a zoo,” he wrote.