This season on Everest has been one of the deadliest in recent years, with 12 climbers losing their lives and five others still missing.
The number of deaths has surpassed the toll of 11 in 2019 when a photo of a long line of climbers waiting to reach the summit went viral, drawing attention to the dangers of climbing this majestic yet perilous mountain.
The victims of this season faced various risks, such as falling ill due to the extreme conditions or encountering accidents like ice falls.
The high number of casualties has raised concerns about overcrowding on Everest. Nepal, the popular starting point for climbers, issued a record number of permits this year, partly due to the pent-up demand for travel after the pandemic.
With so many climbers, there is added pressure on the climbing route, resulting in what mountaineering experts call “traffic jams.” Climbers must wait in long lines to catch a good weather window to reach the summit and avoid dangerous winds in the upper atmosphere. Inexperienced climbers can also cause delays and make the situation worse.
At altitudes higher than 8000m, the air becomes very thin, making it difficult to breathe. Climbers often rely on oxygen canisters to survive, but the congestion of climbers puts a strain on the oxygen supply.
The issue of overcrowding has also raised concerns about the impact of climate change on Mount Everest. Nepal aims to address this problem by easing the traffic jam on Everest and encouraging tourists to explore other parts of the country.