Everest traffic jam creates lethal conditions for climbers

CNN | 5/24/2019 | Staff
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(CNN)Two mountaineers have died on Mount Everest after crowds of people became stuck in a queue leading to the summit of the world's highest mountain.

Indian climber Anjali Kulkarni, 55, died on her way back from climbing to the summit of Mount Everest on Wednesday, her son Shantanu Kulkarni told CNN. She had become stuck in the "traffic jam" above camp four, which, at 8,000 meters (26,247 feet), is the final camp before the summit.

American - Mountaineer - Donald - Lynn - Cash

American mountaineer Donald Lynn Cash, 55, also died Wednesday after fainting from high altitude sickness while descending from the summit, according to the Nepalese expedition company Pioneer Adventure Pvt. Ltd.

This handout photo taken on May 22, 2019 and released by climber Nirmal Purja's Project Possible expedition shows heavy traffic of mountain climbers lining up to stand at the summit of Mount Everest.

Climber - Nirmal - Purja - Picture - Instagram

Climber Nirmal Purja posted a picture on Instagram of the heavy human traffic on the mountain Wednesday, showing a dense trail of climbers huddling on an exposed ridge to the summit. He added that there were roughly 320 people in the queue to the top of the mountain in an area known as the "death zone."

Danduraj Ghimire, director general of Nepal's Tourism Department, rejected suggestions that the jam of climbers contributed to the deaths, calling such claims "baseless."

Summit - Mount - Everest - Elevation - Meters

The summit of Mount Everest has an elevation of 8,848 meters (29,029 feet). At that level, each breath contains only one-third of the oxygen found at sea level. The human body is also rapidly deteriorating at that altitude, meaning most people can spend only a matter of minutes at the top, without extra oxygen supplies, before it becomes intolerable.

"The weather has not been very great this climbing season, so when there is a small window when the weather clears up, climbers make...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNN
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