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The Everest Summit ‘Traffic Jam’ has become a normal occurrence


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The Everest Summit ‘Traffic Jam’ has become a normal occurrence

Mount Everest, known for its beauty and height, is also now associated with some gruesome deaths. These fatal accidents are now occurring with alarming frequency, but fail to deter mountaineers. On an average, 800 people attempt to scale the mountain. Visuals of a littered Everest base camp are now common, which indicates that even such a treacherous place is overcrowded. Recently, climber Rajan Dwivedi shared a video that shows a huge number of people lined up behind him, all waiting to reach Everest’s summit. While it may seem funny to many, Dwivedi clearly mentions that summiting the Everest is “no joke.”

What it looks like at the ‘Death Zone’

There are four advanced base camps along the mountain, allowing climbers space to rest and restore inventory. The queue of people visible in Dwivedi’s video extends from Camp 4, the highest camp on Everest. It is stood at approximately 7950 meters, and on an average, a mountaineer would reach the summit in 6 hours from here. But despite it all seeming so close, they first have to brave the extremely harsh atmospheric conditions here. This zone is known as the death zone, with beyond freezing temperatures and an extreme lack of oxygen.

These two factors alone are scary enough for any common man. Imagine in these conditions, a queue of the size in the video. The crowding delays summiting time for climbers, and poses serious and fatal health risks. Frostbites, and difficulty in breathing are very common for Everest climbers. Dwivedi says that along that singular rope, the queue was navigating both departing and incoming climbers. Summitting from Camp 4 is usually attempted at midnight, and because of the jam, everyone has to move with the same speed – irrespective of one’s ability to do so. The summit traffic jam has become a usual phenomenon in this decade, as amenities and equipment get more advanced.

The Everest-climbing thrill outshines the risks

While Everest is a symbol for conquering the impossible, it is also a morbid reminder of death. Bodies are spread throughout the course, and are often even used as landmarks by climbers. Some die because of health risks in these extreme conditions, others die because of sudden calamities like avalanches. On the same day Dwivedi shared the video, a British climber and a Sherpa were reported missing after a “cornice fall.” They are feared to have lost their lives in the accident.

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This time of May presents the most ideal weather conditions for summiting Everest, and people rush to make the most of it. Dwivedi claims around 7000 climbers have reached the peak until now, ever since it was first done by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. But despite poor conditions and the constant loss of lives, mountaineers continue to take on the challenge of their lives. Among these, there are many that have already summitted Everest, and those that are paired with inexperienced Sherpas. The uncontrolled flow of mountaineers is not only damaging the environment at base camp, but are also causing risks to their own lives. Climbing Everest is a feat that has lost its value, thanks to human frivolousness.

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