⚡ Everest Disaster 1996

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Everest Disaster 1996



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The 1996 Disaster · STORM OVER EVEREST · PBS Documentary

At , Adventure Consultants guide Andy Harris, carrying supplementary oxygen and water, began climbing alone from the South Summit 8, m or 28, ft toward Hansen and Hall at the top of Hillary Step. Several climbers got lost on the South Col during the storm. Near midnight, the blizzard cleared sufficiently for the team to see Camp IV, some m ft away. Beidleman, Groom, Schoening, and Gammelgaard set off to find help. Madsen and Fox remained on the mountain with the group in order to shout for the rescuers. Boukreev located the climbers and brought Pittman, Fox, and Madsen to safety. Boukreev had prioritized Pittman, Fox, and Madsen all of whom were from his Mountain Madness expedition over Namba from the Adventure Consultants expedition , who seemed close to death; he did not see Weathers also from the Adventure Consultants expedition.

In the early morning of 11 May, at , Hall radioed Base Camp and said he was on the South Summit 8, m or 28, ft , indicating that he had survived the night. He reported that Harris had reached the two men, but Hansen, who had been with him since the previous afternoon, was now "gone", and Harris was missing. Hall was not breathing bottled oxygen because his regulator was too choked with ice. By , Hall had fixed his oxygen mask but indicated that his frostbitten hands and feet were making it difficult to traverse the fixed ropes.

Later in the afternoon, he radioed Base Camp, asking them to call his pregnant wife, Jan Arnold, on the satellite phone. During this last communication, they chose a name for their unborn child, he reassured her that he was reasonably comfortable, and told her, "Sleep well, my sweetheart. Please don't worry too much. His body was found on 23 May by Ed Viesturs and fellow mountaineers from the IMAX expedition , but was left there as requested by his wife, who said she thought he was "where he'd liked to have stayed". The bodies of Doug Hansen and Andy Harris have never been found. Viesturs stated in the IMAX film that upon finding Hall's body, he sat down and cried beside his friend. Meanwhile, Stuart Hutchison, a client on Hall's team who had turned around before the summit on 10 May, launched a second search for Weathers and Namba.

He found both alive, but barely responsive and severely frostbitten, and in no condition to move. After consulting with Lopsang, he made the decision that they could not be saved by the hypoxic survivors at Camp IV nor evacuated in time; the other survivors soon agreed that leaving Weathers and Namba behind was the only choice. Later in the day, however, Weathers regained consciousness and walked alone under his own power to the camp, surprising everyone there, though he was still suffering severe hypothermia and frostbite.

Despite receiving oxygen and attempts to rewarm him, Weathers was practically abandoned again the next morning, 12 May, after a storm had collapsed his tent overnight and the other survivors once again thought he had died. Krakauer discovered he was still conscious when the survivors in Camp IV prepared to evacuate. Despite his worsening condition, Weathers found he could still move mostly under his own power. A rescue team mobilized, hopeful of getting Weathers down the mountain alive. Over the next two days, Weathers was ushered down to Camp II with the assistance of eight healthy climbers from various expeditions, and was evacuated by a daring high-altitude helicopter rescue.

He survived and eventually recovered, but lost his nose, right hand, half his right forearm, and all the fingers on his left hand to frostbite. The climbing Sherpas located Fischer and Gau on 11 May, but Fischer's condition had deteriorated so much that they were only able to give palliative care before rescuing Gau. Boukreev made a subsequent rescue attempt but found Fischer's frozen body at around Like Weathers, Gau was evacuated by helicopter. The disaster was caused by a combination of events, [ citation needed ] including:. Jon Krakauer has suggested that the use of bottled oxygen and commercial guides, who personally accompanied and took care of all pathmaking, equipment, and important decisions, allowed otherwise unqualified climbers to attempt to summit, thereby leading to dangerous situations and more deaths.

He does point out, however, that climbing Everest has always been a highly dangerous endeavour, even before the guided tours, with one fatality for every four climbers who reach the summit. Furthermore, he notes that many of the poor decisions made on 10 May came after two or more days of inadequate oxygen, nourishment, and rest due to the effects of entering the death zone above 8, m or 26, ft. Krakauer also elaborated on the statistical curiosities of fatality rates on Everest and how the season was "business as usual". Additionally, a total of 84 climbers reached the summit that season, giving a fatality-to-summit ratio of 1 in 7—significantly less than the historical average of 1 in 4 prior to Accounting for the increased volume of climbers in compared with previous years, the fatality rates on Everest dropped considerably, meaning that was statistically a safer -than-average year.

Following the disaster, the use and non-use of supplementary oxygen was the focus of much discussion and analysis, with a guide and a sardar both criticized by Krakauer for not using supplementary oxygen while performing guide duties. Both men gave detailed written explanations as to why they preferred not to use oxygen; both carried a bottle on the summit day that could be used if needed in an emergency or extraordinary situation. Also, Mr. Krakauer raised a question about my climbing without oxygen and suggested that perhaps my effectiveness was compromised by that decision. In the history of my career, as I have detailed above, it has been my practice to climb without supplementary oxygen. In my experience, it is safer for me, once acclimatized, to climb without oxygen in order to avoid the sudden loss of acclimatization that occurs when supplementary oxygen supplies are depleted.

My particular physiology, my years of high-altitude climbing, my discipline, the commitment I make to proper acclimatization, and the knowledge I have of my own capacities have always made me comfortable with this choice. And, Scott Fischer was comfortable with that choice as well. He authorized me to climb without supplementary oxygen. To this I would add: As a precautionary measure, in the event that some extraordinary demand was placed upon me on summit day, I was carrying one 1 bottle of supplementary oxygen, a mask, and a regulator. There were several issues and problems with radios and their use on summit day. Scott Fischer's sardar did not have a company-issued radio, but did have a "small yellow" radio that was owned by Sandy Pittman.

Rob Hall's team also had an issue with a radio during a discussion over oxygen bottles that caused confusion. The following is a list of the other fatalities during the spring climbing season on Everest. These deaths were not directly related to the storm or the events of 10—11 May Everest disaster. The following fatalities occurred on Everest during the fall climbing season. In the epilogue to High Exposure , David Breashears describes encountering some of the bodies upon climbing Everest again, in May From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The New York Times. The ruined plane slid down the side of the mountain, causing seven people to fall to their deaths. More passengers continued to lose their lives to the trauma.

But it remained uncertain if a rescue operation would take place. Would this rugby team stay alive long enough for help to find them? Or were they destined to die in the Andres before help comes? This film aims to answer just that. Alive recounts a true story. Although most of the names of those involved were changed for the movie, there were three exceptions. Liliana Methol, Eugenia, and Susana Parrado were real people who were involved with the tragedy.

Directed by Frank Marshall, this film does a beautiful job of telling the honest truth about a horrible event. It was originally released in Alive gives viewers a glimpse into human potential under strained circumstances. In the Spring of , Aaron Ralston decides to go on an adventure in a desolate Utah canyon. Ralston, feeling comfortable in the backcountry, failed to tell anyone where he was going. And while he explored Blue John Canyon, he falls, and a boulder pins his arm against the wall.

While stuck in the canyon, Ralston attempted to move the boulder with force, a complex rope system, and everything else he could think of. But he begins to lose hope. While in the belly of the canyon, he recorded videos of his experience with his camcorder. Hallucinations began to take him. And he faced a variety of obstacles while stuck. Based on a true story, Hours is a tale of arrogance, bravery, and survival. How do you handle a series of unfortunate events? And what gives people the will to live? But it is guaranteed to inspire, motivate, and haunt viewers. This film, however, is not intended for those with a weak stomach. Be prepared for a grotesque and uncomfortable performance. Disaster movies are designed to grip audience members for the entirety of the film.

These heart-pumping, blood-rushing films give viewers a way to enter the caverns of their own minds, only to return after processing the content of a story. We love disaster films because they give us the opportunity to get personal with tragedy without entering it. How might we respond to the end of the world? What if we were trapped in a crawl space by a bunch of hungry-looking alligators? The best disaster movies allow us to seek the answers to these questions without living in those realities. But, in order to find the perfect selection for your movie night, it might serve you to evaluate the following film qualities. Many disaster movies have their roots set in reality, which adds to their allure.

Are you someone who wants to teeter on the edge of possibility, causing yourself to stay up all night thinking about the types of tragedies you might see during your lifetime? If so, leaning towards a film with a non-fiction style of writing might be the best option for you. Otherwise, there are plenty of far-fetched films to keep you entertained. And, of course, there is a wide range of films that are somewhere between these extremes.

Keeping your eyes open for a cast full of your favorite actors is always a good idea. Whatever your preferences may be when it comes to acting, a quality cast makes the film what it is. For example, Guillermo del Toro has a unique style that blends fantasy with comic books, and bizarre visuals. Before you watch a Gullermo del Toro film, you can generally assume that its style will be distinct. In most cases, finding a film with an original music score means that a lot of money and attention was used in the making of that film. Resources -- Guff , Live About. We hope you like the items we recommend! CBR has affiliate partnerships, so we receive a share of the revenue from your purchase.

Premium pick. The Poseidon Adventure. Editors choice. Best value. Summary List 9. Editors choice: Contagion 9. Premium pick: Armageddon 9. Best value: Geostorm 9. The Poseidon Adventure 8. Crawl 9. Titanic 9. Twister 9. Everest 9. Alive 9. See on amazon. Read More. Pros Currently relevant Scientifically accurate Narrative Performances. Cons Music score. Buy This Product. Cons Long. By the same measure of base to summit, Denali , in Alaska , also known as Mount McKinley, is taller than Everest as well.

The summit of Chimborazo in Ecuador is 2, m 7, ft farther from Earth's centre 6, Geologists have subdivided the rocks comprising Mount Everest into three units called formations. The Qomolangma Formation, also known as the Jolmo Lungama Formation, [53] runs from the summit to the top of the Yellow Band, about 8, m 28, ft above sea level. It consists of greyish to dark grey or white, parallel laminated and bedded, Ordovician limestone interlayered with subordinate beds of recrystallised dolomite with argillaceous laminae and siltstone. Gansser first reported finding microscopic fragments of crinoids in this limestone. Other samples were so badly sheared and recrystallised that their original constituents could not be determined.

A thick, white-weathering thrombolite bed that is 60 m ft thick comprises the foot of the " Third Step ", and base of the summit pyramid of Everest. This bed, which crops out starting about 70 m ft below the summit of Mount Everest, consists of sediments trapped, bound, and cemented by the biofilms of micro-organisms, especially cyanobacteria , in shallow marine waters. The Qomolangma Formation is broken up by several high-angle faults that terminate at the low angle normal fault , the Qomolangma Detachment. This detachment separates it from the underlying Yellow Band. The lower five metres of the Qomolangma Formation overlying this detachment are very highly deformed. The bulk of Mount Everest, between 7, and 8, m 23, and 28, ft , consists of the North Col Formation, of which the Yellow Band forms its upper part between 8, to 8, m 26, to 28, ft.

The Yellow Band consists of intercalated beds of Middle Cambrian diopside - epidote -bearing marble , which weathers a distinctive yellowish brown, and muscovite - biotite phyllite and semischist. Petrographic analysis of marble collected from about 8, m 27, ft found it to consist as much as five percent of the ghosts of recrystallised crinoid ossicles. The upper five metres of the Yellow Band lying adjacent to the Qomolangma Detachment is badly deformed. A 5—40 cm 2. The remainder of the North Col Formation, exposed between 7, to 8, m 23, to 26, ft on Mount Everest, consists of interlayered and deformed schist, phyllite, and minor marble.

Between 7, and 8, m 24, and 26, ft , the North Col Formation consists chiefly of biotite-quartz phyllite and chlorite-biotite phyllite intercalated with minor amounts of biotite- sericite -quartz schist. Between 7, and 7, m 23, and 24, ft , the lower part of the North Col Formation consists of biotite-quartz schist intercalated with epidote-quartz schist, biotite-calcite-quartz schist, and thin layers of quartzose marble. These metamorphic rocks appear to be the result of the metamorphism of Middle to Early Cambrian deep sea flysch composed of interbedded, mudstone , shale , clayey sandstone , calcareous sandstone, graywacke , and sandy limestone.

The base of the North Col Formation is a regional low-angle normal fault called the "Lhotse detachment". It consists of sillimanite - K-feldspar grade schist and gneiss intruded by numerous sills and dikes of leucogranite ranging in thickness from 1 cm to 1, m 0. They formed as the result of partial melting of Paleoproterozoic to Ordovician high-grade metasedimentary rocks of the Higher Himalayan Sequence about 20 to 24 million years ago during the subduction of the Indian Plate. Mount Everest consists of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks that have been faulted southward over continental crust composed of Archean granulites of the Indian Plate during the Cenozoic collision of India with Asia.

The Cenozoic collision of India with Asia subsequently deformed and metamorphosed these strata as it thrust them southward and upward. During the collision of India with Asia, these rocks were thrust downward and to the north as they were overridden by other strata; heated, metamorphosed, and partially melted at depths of over 15 to 20 kilometres 9. There is very little native flora or fauna on Everest.

A moss grows at 6, metres 21, ft on Mount Everest. Researchers have found plants in areas that were previously deemed bare. Euophrys omnisuperstes , a minute black jumping spider , has been found at elevations as high as 6, metres 22, ft , possibly making it the highest confirmed non-microscopic permanent resident on Earth. In the base camp of Everest the jumping spider Euophrys everestensis occurs.

There is a high likelihood of microscopic life at even higher altitudes. Birds, such as the bar-headed goose , have been seen flying at the higher altitudes of the mountain, while others, such as the chough , have been spotted as high as the South Col at 7, metres 25, ft. Yaks are often used to haul gear for Mount Everest climbs. They can haul kg pounds , have thick fur and large lungs. In , a new weather station at about 8, m 26, ft elevation went online. One of the issues facing climbers is the frequent presence of high-speed winds.

Climbers typically aim for a 7- to day window in the spring and fall when the Asian monsoon season is either starting up or ending and the winds are lighter. The air pressure at the summit is about one-third what it is at sea level, and by Bernoulli's principle , the winds can lower the pressure further, causing an additional 14 percent reduction in oxygen to climbers. Because Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world, it has attracted considerable attention and climbing attempts. Whether the mountain was climbed in ancient times is unknown. It may have been climbed in , although this has never been confirmed, as neither of the men making the attempt returned.

Several climbing routes have been established over several decades of climbing expeditions to the mountain. Everest's first known summiting occurred by , and interest by climbers increased. By March , Everest had been climbed 5, times with deaths. By , The Himalayan Database recorded 6, summits by 4, different people. The northern approach to the mountain was discovered by George Mallory and Guy Bullock on the initial British Reconnaissance Expedition. It was an exploratory expedition not equipped for a serious attempt to climb the mountain. With Mallory leading and thus becoming the first European to set foot on Everest's flanks they climbed the North Col to an altitude of 7, metres 22, ft.

From there, Mallory espied a route to the top, but the party was unprepared for the great task of climbing any further and descended. The British returned for a expedition. George Finch climbed using oxygen for the first time. He ascended at a remarkable speed— metres ft per hour, and reached an altitude of 8, m 27, ft , the first time a human reported to climb higher than 8, m. Mallory and Col. Felix Norton made a second unsuccessful attempt. The next expedition was in The initial attempt by Mallory and Geoffrey Bruce was aborted when weather conditions prevented the establishment of Camp VI.

The next attempt was that of Norton and Somervell, who climbed without oxygen and in perfect weather, traversing the North Face into the Great Couloir. Norton managed to reach 8, m 28, ft , though he ascended only 30 m 98 ft or so in the last hour. Mallory rustled up oxygen equipment for a last-ditch effort. He chose young Andrew Irvine as his partner. Controversy has raged in the mountaineering community whether one or both of them reached the summit 29 years before the confirmed ascent and safe descent of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in In , Lady Houston , a British millionairess , funded the Houston Everest Flight of , which saw a formation of two aeroplanes led by the Marquess of Clydesdale fly over the Everest summit.

Early expeditions—such as Charles Bruce 's in the s and Hugh Ruttledge 's two unsuccessful attempts in and —tried to ascend the mountain from Tibet , via the North Face. Access was closed from the north to Western expeditions in after China took control of Tibet. In , Bill Tilman and a small party which included Charles Houston , Oscar Houston, and Betsy Cowles undertook an exploratory expedition to Everest through Nepal along the route which has now become the standard approach to Everest from the south. It established a route through the Khumbu icefall and ascended to the South Col at an elevation of 7, m 26, ft.

Raymond Lambert and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were able to reach an elevation of about 8, m 28, ft on the southeast ridge, setting a new climbing altitude record. Tenzing's experience was useful when he was hired to be part of the British expedition in In , a ninth British expedition, led by John Hunt , returned to Nepal. Hunt selected two climbing pairs to attempt to reach the summit. The first pair, Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans , came within m ft of the summit on 26 May , but turned back after running into oxygen problems. As planned, their work in route finding and breaking trail and their oxygen caches were of great aid to the following pair. Two days later, the expedition made its second assault on the summit with the second climbing pair: the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay , a Nepali Sherpa climber.

They reached the summit at local time on 29 May via the South Col route. At the time, both acknowledged it as a team effort by the whole expedition, but Tenzing revealed a few years later that Hillary had put his foot on the summit first. Hunt was ultimately made a life peer in Britain, while Hillary became a founding member of the Order of New Zealand. In , statues were raised in their honour, and in , Hillary Peak and Tenzing Peak were named for them.

In , Japanese mountaineers conducted a major expedition. The centrepiece was a large "siege"-style expedition led by Saburo Matsukata , working on finding a new route up the southwest face. For example, Yuichiro Miura became the first man to ski down Everest from the South Col — he descended nearly 1, vertical metres 4, ft from the South Col before falling with extreme injuries. Another success was an expedition that put four on the summit via the South Col route. In , Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler made the first ascent of Everest without supplemental oxygen.

The Polish climber Andrzej Zawada headed the first winter ascent of Mount Everest, the first winter ascent of an eight-thousander. The team of 20 Polish climbers and 4 Sherpas established a base camp on Khumbu Glacier in early January On 15 January, the team managed to set up Camp III at metres above sea level, but further action was stopped by hurricane-force winds. Cichy and Wielicki started the final ascent at am on 17 February. At pm Andrzej Zawada at base camp heard the climbers' voices over the radio — "We are on the summit! The strong wind blows all the time.

It is unimaginably cold. After Poles did ten first winter ascents on metre peaks , which earned Polish climbers a reputation of "Ice Warriors". In May , Polish climbers under the leadership of Eugeniusz Chrobak organised an international expedition to Mount Everest on a difficult western ridge. Ten Poles and nine foreigners participated, but ultimately only the Poles remained in the attempt for the summit. On 24 May, Chrobak and Andrzej Marciniak, starting from camp V at 8, m, overcame the ridge and reached the summit. The following day, due to his injuries, Chrobak also died. On 10 and 11 May , eight climbers died after several guided expeditions were caught in a blizzard high up on the mountain during a summit attempt on 10 May.

During the season, 15 people died while climbing on Mount Everest. These were the highest death tolls for a single weather event, and for a single season, until the sixteen deaths in the Mount Everest avalanche. The guiding disaster gained wide publicity and raised questions about the commercialisation of climbing and the safety of guiding clients on Mount Everest. Journalist Jon Krakauer , on assignment from Outside magazine, was in one of the affected guided parties, and afterward published the bestseller Into Thin Air , which related his experience.

Krakauer was critical of guide Anatoli Boukreev in his recollection of the expedition. Semple, a surgeon, both researchers from the University of Toronto , told New Scientist magazine that an analysis of weather conditions on 11 May suggested that weather caused oxygen levels to plunge approximately 14 percent. Weathers was left for dead about metres feet from Camp 4 at 7, metres 26, feet. After spending a night on the mountain, Weathers managed to make it back to Camp 4 with massive frostbite and vision impaired due to snow blindness. Weathers' condition had not improved and an immediate descent to a lower elevation was deemed essential. Weathers was lowered to Camp 2.

Eventually, a helicopter rescue was organised thanks to the Nepali Army. The storm's impact on climbers on the North Ridge of Everest, where several climbers also died, was detailed in a first-hand account by British filmmaker and writer Matt Dickinson in his book The Other Side of Everest. In , 12 people died. One death in particular see below triggered an international debate and years of discussion about climbing ethics. There was an international controversy about the death of a solo British climber David Sharp , who attempted to climb Mount Everest in but died in his attempt. The story broke out of the mountaineering community into popular media, with a series of interviews, allegations, and critiques.

The question was whether climbers that season had left a man to die and whether he could have been saved. He was said to have attempted to summit Mount Everest by himself with no Sherpa or guide and fewer oxygen bottles than considered normal. The manager at Sharp's guide support said Sharp did not take enough oxygen for his summit attempt and did not have a Sherpa guide. Double-amputee climber Mark Inglis said in an interview with the press on 23 May , that his climbing party, and many others, had passed Sharp, on 15 May, sheltering under a rock overhang metres 1, ft below the summit, without attempting a rescue. There has also been some discussion about Himex in the commentary on Inglis and Sharp.

In regards to Inglis's initial comments, he later revised certain details because he had been interviewed while he was " He had suffered severe frostbite — he later had five fingertips amputated. But he could not get David to stand alone or even stand to rest on his shoulders, and crying, Dawa had to leave him too. Even with two Sherpas, it was not going to be possible to get David down the tricky sections below. Beck Weathers of the Mount Everest disaster said that those who are dying are often left behind and that he himself had been left for dead twice but was able to keep walking. Much of this controversy was captured by the Discovery Channel while filming the television program Everest: Beyond the Limit. A crucial decision affecting the fate of Sharp is shown in the program, where an early returning climber Lebanese adventurer Maxim Chaya is descending from the summit and radios to his base camp manager Russell Brice that he has found a frostbitten and unconscious climber in distress.

Chaya is unable to identify Sharp, who had chosen to climb solo without any support and so did not identify himself to other climbers. The base camp manager assumes that Sharp is part of a group that has already calculated that they must abandon him, and informs his lone climber that there is no chance of him being able to help Sharp by himself. As Sharp's condition deteriorates through the day and other descending climbers pass him, his opportunities for rescue diminish: his legs and feet curl from frostbite , preventing him from walking; the later descending climbers are lower on oxygen and lack the strength to offer aid; time runs out for any Sherpas to return and rescue him.

David Sharp's body remained just below the summit on the Chinese side next to "Green Boots"; they shared a space in a small rock cave that was an ad hoc tomb for them. As the Sharp debate kicked off on 26 May , Australian climber Lincoln Hall was found alive after being left for dead the day before. Hall later fully recovered. His team assumed he had died from cerebral edema, and they were instructed to cover him with rocks. The next day he was discovered by another party alive.

I was shocked to see a guy without gloves, hat, oxygen bottles or sleeping bag at sunrise at 28, feet [8, m] height, just sitting up there. Lincoln greeted his fellow mountaineers with this: []. Lincoln Hall went on to live for several more years, often giving talks about his near-death experience and rescue, before dying from unrelated medical issues in at the age of 56 born in Recognising this rescue, Major McGrath was selected as a recipient of the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada Humanitarian Award, which recognises a Canadian who has personally or administratively contributed a significant service or act in the Himalayan Region of Nepal.

An illustration of the explosion of popularity of Everest is provided by the numbers of daily ascents. Analysis of the Mount Everest disaster shows that part of the blame was on the bottleneck caused by a large number of climbers 33 to 36 attempting to summit on the same day; this was considered unusually high at the time. By comparison, on 23 May , the summit of Mount Everest was reached by climbers — more summits in a single day than in the cumulative 31 years from the first successful summit in through There have been fatalities recorded on Mount Everest from the British Mount Everest Expedition through the end of , a rate of 4.

Of the fatalities, 58 Nearly all attempts at the summit are done using one of the two main routes. The traffic seen by each route varies from year to year. In —07, more than half of all climbers elected to use the more challenging, but cheaper northeast route. In , the northeast route was closed by the Chinese government for the entire climbing season, and the only people able to reach the summit from the north that year were athletes responsible for carrying the Olympic torch for the Summer Olympics. The s were a time of new highs and lows for the mountain, with back-to-back disasters in and causing record deaths. In there were no summits for the first time in decades.

However, other years set records for numbers of summits — 's record number of summiters, around , was surpassed in with around summiting the peak, [] and a subsequent record was set in with over summiters. On 18 April , an avalanche hit the area just below the Base Camp 2 at around UTC local time and at an elevation of about 5, metres 19, ft. During the season, a year-old girl, Malavath Purna, reached the summit, becoming the youngest female climber to do so. This team had to use the south side because the Chinese had denied them a permit to climb. Over people summited Everest from China Tibet region , and six from Nepal in the season.

However, on 25 April , an earthquake measuring 7. The quakes trapped hundreds of climbers above the Khumbu icefall, and they had to be evacuated by helicopter as they ran low on supplies. On 24 August , Nepal re-opened Everest to tourism including mountain climbers. He made his fifth attempt in October, but had to give up just m 2, ft from the summit due to "strong winds and deep snow". Some sections of the trail from Lukla to Everest Base Camp Nepal were damaged in the earthquakes earlier in the year and needed repairs to handle trekkers. Hawley's database records made it to the summit in early Himalayan record keeper Elizabeth Hawley died in late January Figures for the number of permits issued by Nepal range from [] to The spring or pre-monsoon window for witnessed the deaths of a number of climbers and worldwide publication of images of hundreds of mountaineers queuing to reach the summit and sensational media reports of climbers stepping over dead bodies dismayed people around the world.

There were reports of various winter expeditions in the Himalayas, including K2, Nanga Parbat, and Meru with the buzz for the Everest beginning just 14 weeks to the weather window. In May , Nepali mountaineering guide Kami Rita summited Mount Everest twice within a week, his 23rd and 24th ascents, making international news headlines. By 23 May , about seven people had died, possibly due to crowding leading to delays high on the mountain, and shorter weather windows.

Although China has had various permit restrictions, and Nepal requires a doctor to sign off on climbing permits, [] the natural dangers of climbing such as falls and avalanches combined with medical issues aggravated by Everest's extreme altitude led to being a year with a comparatively high death toll. A team of Chinese surveyors climbed Mt. Everest from the North side during April—May , becoming the only climbers to summit the world's highest peak during the pandemic, at least through May. The team was there to re-measure the height of Mount Everest. These were extended until due to the closure. The number of permits issued each year by Nepal is listed below. The Chinese side in Tibet is also managed with permits for summiting Everest.

The mountain remained closed on the Chinese side to all foreign climbers. Mount Everest has two main climbing routes, the southeast ridge from Nepal and the north ridge from Tibet , as well as many other less frequently climbed routes. It was the route used by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in and the first recognised of 15 routes to the top by Most attempts are made during May, before the summer monsoon season. As the monsoon season approaches, the jet stream shifts northward, thereby reducing the average wind speeds high on the mountain.

The ascent via the southeast ridge begins with a trek to Base Camp at 5, m 17, ft on the south side of Everest, in Nepal. Expeditions usually fly into Lukla 2, m from Kathmandu and pass through Namche Bazaar. Climbers then hike to Base Camp, which usually takes six to eight days, allowing for proper altitude acclimatisation in order to prevent altitude sickness. When Hillary and Tenzing climbed Everest in , the British expedition they were part of comprising over climbers, porters, and Sherpas at that point started from the Kathmandu Valley , as there were no roads further east at that time.

Climbers spend a couple of weeks in Base Camp, acclimatising to the altitude. During that time, Sherpas and some expedition climbers set up ropes and ladders in the treacherous Khumbu Icefall. Seracs , crevasses , and shifting blocks of ice make the icefall one of the most dangerous sections of the route. Many climbers and Sherpas have been killed in this section. To reduce the hazard, climbers usually begin their ascent well before dawn, when the freezing temperatures glue ice blocks in place.

The Western Cwm is a flat, gently rising glacial valley, marked by huge lateral crevasses in the centre, which prevent direct access to the upper reaches of the Cwm. Climbers are forced to cross on the far right, near the base of Nuptse , to a small passageway known as the "Nuptse corner". The Western Cwm is also called the "Valley of Silence" as the topography of the area generally cuts off wind from the climbing route. The high altitude and a clear, windless day can make the Western Cwm unbearably hot for climbers. The Geneva Spur is an anvil-shaped rib of black rock named by the Swiss expedition. Fixed ropes assist climbers in scrambling over this snow-covered rock band.

The Yellow Band is a section of interlayered marble , phyllite , and semischist , which also requires about metres of rope for traversing it. On the South Col , climbers enter the death zone. Climbers making summit bids typically can endure no more than two or three days at this altitude. That's one reason why clear weather and low winds are critical factors in deciding whether to make a summit attempt.

If the weather does not cooperate within these short few days, climbers are forced to descend, many all the way back down to Base Camp. From Camp IV, climbers begin their summit push around midnight, with hopes of reaching the summit still another 1, metres above within 10 to 12 hours. Climbers first reach "The Balcony" at 8, m 27, ft , a small platform where they can rest and gaze at peaks to the south and east in the early light of dawn.

Continuing up the ridge, climbers are then faced with a series of imposing rock steps which usually forces them to the east into the waist-deep snow, a serious avalanche hazard. At 8, m 28, ft , a small table-sized dome of ice and snow marks the South Summit. From the South Summit, climbers follow the knife-edge southeast ridge along what is known as the "Cornice traverse", where snow clings to intermittent rock. This is the most exposed section of the climb, and a misstep to the left would send one 2, m 7, ft down the southwest face, while to the immediate right is the 3, m 10, ft Kangshung Face.

At the end of this traverse is an imposing 12 m 39 ft rock wall, the Hillary Step , at 8, m 28, ft. Hillary and Tenzing were the first climbers to ascend this step, and they did so using primitive ice climbing equipment and ropes. Nowadays, climbers ascend this step using fixed ropes previously set up by Sherpas. Once above the step, it is a comparatively easy climb to the top on moderately angled snow slopes—though the exposure on the ridge is extreme, especially while traversing large cornices of snow.

With increasing numbers of people climbing the mountain in recent [ when? After the Hillary Step, climbers also must traverse a loose and rocky section that has a large entanglement of fixed ropes that can be troublesome in bad weather. Climbers typically spend less than half an hour at the summit to allow time to descend to Camp IV before darkness sets in, to avoid serious problems with afternoon weather, or because supplemental oxygen tanks run out. The north ridge route begins from the north side of Everest, in Tibet. Expeditions trek to the Rongbuk Glacier , setting up base camp at 5, m 16, ft on a gravel plain just below the glacier. To reach Camp II, climbers ascend the medial moraine of the east Rongbuk Glacier up to the base of Changtse , at around 6, m 20, ft.

To reach Camp IV on the North Col, climbers ascend the glacier to the foot of the col where fixed ropes are used to reach the North Col at 7, m 23, ft. From the North Col, climbers ascend the rocky north ridge to set up Camp V at around 7, m 25, ft. The route crosses the North Face in a diagonal climb to the base of the Yellow Band, reaching the site of Camp VI at 8, m 27, ft. From Camp VI, climbers make their final summit push. Climbers face a treacherous traverse from the base of the First Step: ascending from 8, to 8, m 27, to 28, ft , to the crux of the climb, the Second Step, ascending from 8, to 8, m 28, to 28, ft.

The Second Step includes a climbing aid called the "Chinese ladder", a metal ladder placed semi-permanently in by a party of Chinese climbers. Once above the Second Step the inconsequential Third Step is clambered over, ascending from 8, to 8, m 28, to 28, ft. Once above these steps, the summit pyramid is climbed by a snow slope of 50 degrees, to the final summit ridge along which the top is reached. The summit of Everest has been described as "the size of a dining room table". Below the summit, there is an area known as "rainbow valley", filled with dead bodies still wearing brightly coloured winter gear. Down to about 8, m 26, ft is an area commonly called the "death zone", due to the high danger and low oxygen because of the low pressure. At the higher regions of Mount Everest, climbers seeking the summit typically spend substantial time within the death zone altitudes higher than 8, metres 26, ft , and face significant challenges to survival.

Temperatures can dip to very low levels, resulting in frostbite of any body part exposed to the air. Since temperatures are so low, snow is well-frozen in certain areas and death or injury by slipping and falling can occur. High winds at these altitudes on Everest are also a potential threat to climbers. Another significant threat to climbers is low atmospheric pressure. The atmospheric pressure at the top of Everest is about a third of sea level pressure or 0. Debilitating effects of the death zone are so great that it takes most climbers up to 12 hours to walk the distance of 1.

A sea-level dweller exposed to the atmospheric conditions at the altitude above 8, m 27, ft without acclimatisation would likely lose consciousness within 2 to 3 minutes. In May , the Caudwell Xtreme Everest undertook a medical study of oxygen levels in human blood at extreme altitude. Over volunteers climbed to Everest Base Camp where various medical tests were performed to examine blood oxygen levels. A small team also performed tests on the way to the summit. Blood samples taken at the summit indicated very low oxygen levels in the blood. A side effect of low blood oxygen is a greatly increased breathing rate, often 80—90 breaths per minute as opposed to a more typical 20— Exhaustion can occur merely by attempting to breathe.

Lack of oxygen, exhaustion, extreme cold, and climbing hazards all contribute to the death toll. An injured person who cannot walk is in serious trouble, since rescue by helicopter is generally impractical and carrying the person off the mountain is very risky. People who die during the climb are typically left behind. As of , about bodies had never been recovered. It is not uncommon to find corpses near the standard climbing routes.

Debilitating symptoms consistent with high altitude cerebral oedema commonly present during descent from the summit of Mount Everest. Profound fatigue and late times in reaching the summit are early features associated with subsequent death. A study noted that the "death zone" is indeed where most Everest deaths occur, but also noted that most deaths occur during descent from the summit. Despite this, Everest is safer for climbers than a number of peaks by some measurements, but it depends on the period.

Another health hazard is retinal haemorrhages , which can damage eyesight and cause blindness. At one o'clock in the afternoon, the British climber Peter Kinloch was on the roof of the world, in bright sunlight, taking photographs of the Himalayas below, "elated, cheery and bubbly". But Mount Everest is now his grave, because only minutes later, he suddenly went blind and had to be abandoned to die from the cold. The team made a huge effort for the next 12 hours to try to get him down the mountain, but to no avail, as they were unsuccessful in getting him through the difficult sections. It is hard to rescue someone who has become incapacitated and it can be beyond the ability of rescuers to save anyone in such a difficult spot.

They had no choice and were forced to go through with their plan anyway, because they had run out of bottled oxygen and supplies. Most expeditions use oxygen masks and tanks above 8, m 26, ft. Humans' ability to think clearly is hindered with low oxygen, and the combination of extreme weather, low temperatures, and steep slopes often requires quick, accurate decisions. While about 95 percent of climbers who reach the summit use bottled oxygen in order to reach the top, about five percent of climbers have summited Everest without supplemental oxygen.

The death rate is double for those who attempt to reach the summit without supplemental oxygen. Brain cells are extremely sensitive to a lack of oxygen. Some brain cells start dying less than 5 minutes after their oxygen supply disappears. As a result, brain hypoxia can rapidly cause severe brain damage or death. The use of bottled oxygen to ascend Mount Everest has been controversial. It was first used on the British Mount Everest Expedition by George Finch and Geoffrey Bruce who climbed up to 7, m 25, ft at a spectacular speed of vertical metres 1, ft per hour. Pinned down by a fierce storm, they escaped death by breathing oxygen from a jury-rigged set-up during the night. Yet the use of oxygen was considered so unsportsmanlike that none of the rest of the Alpine world recognised this high ascent rate.

George Mallory described the use of such oxygen as unsportsmanlike, but he later concluded that it would be impossible for him to summit without it and consequently used it on his final attempt in Reinhold Messner was the first climber to break the bottled oxygen tradition and in , with Peter Habeler , made the first successful climb without it. In , Messner summited the mountain solo, without supplemental oxygen or any porters or climbing partners, on the more difficult northwest route.

Once the climbing community was satisfied that the mountain could be climbed without supplemental oxygen, many purists then took the next logical step of insisting that is how it should be climbed. The aftermath of the disaster further intensified the debate. Jon Krakauer 's Into Thin Air expressed the author's personal criticisms of the use of bottled oxygen.

Krakauer wrote that the use of bottled oxygen allowed otherwise unqualified climbers to attempt to summit, leading to dangerous situations and more deaths. The disaster was partially caused by the sheer number of climbers 34 on that day attempting to ascend, causing bottlenecks at the Hillary Step and delaying many climbers, most of whom summitted after the usual turnaround time. He proposed banning bottled oxygen except for emergency cases, arguing that this would both decrease the growing pollution on Everest—many bottles have accumulated on its slopes—and keep marginally qualified climbers off the mountain.

The disaster also introduced the issue of the guide's role in using bottled oxygen. Guide Anatoli Boukreev 's decision not to use bottled oxygen was sharply criticised by Jon Krakauer. Boukreev's supporters who include G. Weston DeWalt, who co-wrote The Climb state that using bottled oxygen gives a false sense of security. Adams states in The Climb , "For me, it was business as usual, Anatoli's going by, and I had no problems with that. The low oxygen can cause a mental fog-like impairment of cognitive abilities described as "delayed and lethargic thought process, clinically defined as bradypsychia" even after returning to lower altitudes. Some studies have found that high-altitude climbers, including Everest climbers, experience altered brain structure.

Although generally less popular than spring, Mount Everest has also been climbed in the autumn also called the "post-monsoon season". The amount of background radiation increases with higher altitudes. The mountain has also been climbed in the winter, but that is not popular because of the combination of cold high winds and shorter days.

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