The famous Hillary Step – the last great challenge before the top of Mount Everest – has collapsed, potentially making scaling the peak more dangerous.
The near-vertical 12m rocky outcrop on the mountain’s southeast ridge was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first to scale the mountain in 1953.
Mountaineers said Step may have fallen victim to Nepal’s devastating 2015 earthquake.
Back in May 2016, pictures posted by the American Himalayan Foundation appeared to show that the Hillary Step had changed shape.
But thanks to the snowfall, it was hard to tell for sure. This year, with less snow, it was clear the Step had gone.
Mountaineers claimed the snow-covered slope would be much easier to climb than the notorious rock face, but warned it could create a bottleneck.
That would be a serious worry for those already battling low oxygen and frostbite conditions at the top of the world.