Mt. Everest deaths don't deter climbers


Apa Sherpa, who recently won the Guinness World record for scaling Everest 21 times, says that the lack of snow on the mountain due to climate change may one day make it unclimbable.


Prakash Mathema

Dozens climbed Mount Everest today as the delayed season nears an end, The Associated Press reported.

Representatives from Nepal’s tourism ministry said 82 climbers reached the 29,035-foot summit this morning despite four deaths last weekend.

More people are expected to try for the peak on Saturday, likely the final day anyone can safely make an attempt.

“If they can’t, then there is not going to be another opportunity this season,” tourism official Mohan Krishna Sapkota told the AP.

It was a week ago four people died coming down the mountain, including a Canadian woman, a 55-year-old Chinese climber, a 61-year-old German doctor and a South Korean man, CBC News reported.

The mountainside was suddenly whipped with high winds, but altitude sickness and exhaustion likely killed 33-year-old Canadian Shriya Shah-Klorfine, CBC said.

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Shah-Klorfine was born in Kathmandu, and she mortgaged her home to pay for the $100,000, 18-day trek.

Family in Toronto said Sherpas are trying to retrieve her body this weekend.

The deaths highlight the potentially fatal business of climbing the world’s highest mountain.

Lines of people are said to be waiting to reach the summit. The first window to reach the summit came last weekend, the AP reported.

“There was a traffic jam on the mountain on Saturday. Climbers were still heading to the summit as late as 2:30 p.m., which is quite dangerous,” Nepal tourism representative Gyanendra Shrestha said this week, according to CBC.

Experts say climbers should leave the last base camp about 26,250 feet (8,000 meters) no later than 11 a.m.

Six climbers have died this year, and many are starting to blame overcrowding, The Telegraph reported.

“There were 300 to 400 people going to the summit and we got stuck in a traffic jam,” survivor Song Young-il told The Telegraph. “We had to wait 200 metres (600 feet) from the summit and we became snow blind. We waited for four hours. We couldn’t see.”

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