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Why So Many People Are Dying On Top Of Mount Everest


Mt. Everest. It’s big. It’s dangerous. And more and more, it’s crowded. It’s the traffic jam atop the world. A record number of mountaineers waiting for hours
in the harshest conditions on the planet to reach the 29,000 foot mountain top. 2019 is shaping up to be one of
the deadliest years in decades on Mount Everest. And so those in the climbing
industry, it’s a business problem. It’s like a stock portfolio. You’ve got 15 climbs around
the world that you’re running. Some are making more money, some are less. Some might be closed for political reasons,
some might have a volcano erupt. So that one’s off the charts. We’re moving to other areas. So as a business model you need all these
mountains to really make you work for yourself. Otherwise you’re forced to maybe run a trip you
don’t want to run or have a problem canceling a trip. I mean we’ve canceled trips for five days
before they left, knowing that there’s other mountains that we do to support that. But I think if you’re doing one or two
mountains, you’re relying on that, it puts you as a business person in a really difficult situation where
if I don’t run the trip I could be out of business or going broke. And you don’t want to be there. In late May 2019, social media images surfaced
showing what looked like a human traffic jam at 29,000 feet, in the upper troposphere. An image now emblematic of a deadly new
normal, droves of climbers waiting for their chance to summit Mount Everest. But dark details soon became
apparent from the image. Several people died on the mountain that day. Reports then surfaced of long lines leading
to the summit and climbers burning through oxygen as they waited for inexperienced climbers to
be helped off the mountain or for others to take selfies at
the top of the mountain. Even with these things going on we’re getting
calls like, I heard about the disasters. But hey, what does it take to climb Everest? You know we’ll give them a three or
four year routine but also unfortunately people are doing one or two smaller climbs. They felt like they’ve done well. They’re contacting up an outfitter saying Can I
give it a try with this kind of experience and they’re saying yes. So a combination I think of people misreading
what it takes to climb Everest and perhaps some of the guide services misreading what
should be expected from clients before taking them on this mountain. Mount Everest has become big business for
both climbing companies and the local tourist industry. Those kinds of images are
putting certain business practices under scrutiny. The Nepalese government makes a
lot of money from Mt. Everest. According to several media reports the government
makes $300 million from climbing each year. It sells permits to foreigners that allow
them to climb the Nepalese side of Mt. Everest. They cost $11,000 and
nearly anyone can get one. Nepal does not cap the number of permits it
issues, and it issued a record 381 permits in 2019. I certainly would like to
reduce the volume up there. But there’s a better way to look at who should
be going up on what day and how to spread that out on a case-by-case basis. Reaching the top of Mount Everest is so dangerous
with its brutal winds and lack of oxygen that there are only a few windows each season
in which climbers can hope to reach the summit. And there are more and more climbers
from around the world trying to check Everest off their bucket lists. India and China have gotten much wealthier in
the past 20 years, and mountaineering in general has gotten more
popular across the world. That’s opening up Mt. Everest to as many self-proclaimed adventurers who
can afford the steep price of entry. Well, we can say that the interest in Everest
has always increased, but in these past few years it’s increased, I don’t
know, you know 10 fold. We’re seeing a 10 percent increase
probably for the past 10 years. But the increased demand isn’t
coming with increased quality control Climbers who lack the endurance and training
needed to summit Everest slow everyone else down, increasing the time other climbers
spend in the dangerous summit. And even if one climbing company does go
above and beyond in vetting its clients, they can be on the mountain with any number
of climbing companies that don’t, trying to summit the mountain at the same time. Mount Everest is a big
tourist attraction for Nepal. Nepal is a poor country, landlocked
in tough but beautiful geography. It needs tourism, and Mount Everest, even if
you’re not a climber, is a big draw. During the climbing season, base
camp becomes a mini city. Even actress Mandy Moore recently visited at So if calls to cap the number of
permits Nepal issues to potential Mount Everest climbers come to fruition, the government there stands
to potentially lose millions of dollars. That also means lost livelihoods for Sherpas,
the local guides who make their living guiding climbers up and down
the Himalayan mountains. And the local adventure tourism industry set
up around Everest in the Himalayas. It’s expensive to climb Everest
using an established mountaineering company. Newer local companies in Nepal, for example,
charge tens of thousands of dollars less. We can’t tell what kind
of fitness you’re in beforehand. Why aren’t you vetting these climbers for fitness? By what? By making them go
up the mountain a week before? There’s no way to vet how much time
people have put into their fitness training, and that’s a lot of it when said the
system of how we’re going to evaluate people. We don’t know until they get there. It becomes the guide’s responsibility
to more turn people around. And that’s pretty hard. God, just gave you a $50,000 check and
your trip is over on day three. But that is part of the job of a
guide and a guide service, if it’s not right.

Norman Bunn

100 Comments

  1. Some were died due to their own lack of practice. And some died while taking selfie photos.

  2. That line to the summit is many times longer then the longest ride I have ever seen at my favorite rollercoaster ride at my local amusement park. Crazy

  3. I don't see anyone making their way down …I can see the logjam of people going up; it's packed and i'm guessing you can't push your way ahead of the guy in front of you if you're fitter and faster, but do people on their way down have to use the SAME ropes as people going up?

  4. CLIMBING MOUNT EVEREST:

    1953- A WORLD'S RECORD!!!!

    2019- so easy, poseurs with air tanks can do it. 🙄

  5. Climbing Everest used to be an admirable feat, and no doubt still is for those who do it the right way. But if somebody tells me they've climbed Everest today, I'll be left to wonder if s/he really earned it or just spent the $$$ for a really expensive E-ticket tow up the mountain while putting others at risk so could add to list of shallow bragging rights. So sad how few people want to put in the real work in anymore — Everest is becoming symbolic of this.

  6. Too many dumbasses thinking all it takes is enough money…. it's just a tourist attraction now…

    sad thing is all they are doing is putting the real climbers ( mostly the sherpa's ) in danger

  7. It is not a problem. People take a calculated risk, some perish. Completely avoidable. Not tragic at all. Take a cruise or perhaps a beach holiday. Build a cable car to the summit. Pressurized. And a revolving restaurant

  8. Because they paid a bomb for it..nd are ready to die for it…I ain't going back telling ppl I couldnt reach the top and also blew up a trash load of money…

  9. I assumed we as human aren't suppose to be there especially since there's a lack of oxygen and it's freezing cold.

  10. The Nepalese government should cut the permit numbers in half and double the cost

  11. Why do so many people want to go if there’s a line like that? Totally defeats the whole untouchable beauty of climbing the tallest mountain on earth.

  12. If your so set on trying to impress us with your magnificent physical ability then Why don't you try and impress us with bringing down a few dead bodies along with a bag of trash. We would all be much more thankful then constantly hearing about some ego maniac talk excessively about his journey thru the "Death Zone". Seriously, enough already. Do something to help.

  13. Not your first time climbing do you climb Everest.

    You train and build up to it. Mountain climb smaller mts. Gain some mountaineering
    skills.

    It's like playing the Super Bowl your first time playing football.

    Fools.

  14. People arnt really dying. Everest is safer than it ever has been and one of the safest large mountain ls in the world

  15. Limit permits, raise prices, require climbers to have climbed other high mountains to order a permit, profit

  16. Damn, that line. People pay to stand in line in the death zone? I'd say go ahead and let them die, but the problem is they take Sherpas with them.

  17. Those are Tourists, not Mountaineers. They want that IG likes and Facebook Reactions… that's Stupidity if you ask me.

  18. This continues to be a problem for that area and Nepal, who do climbers insist on completing their climb all the way instead of turning back at some point even if they paid the $5digit price? The base camp should become a complete city at this point and people should pay for having a proper hotel at the base camp location. Then we need to provide training for enabling more people to climb a mountain. This means for a whole year, a marathon is ran at a certain altitude and each successive marathon is ran at a slightly higher altitude than the one before it until the person gains enough red blood cells to enable survival at the top of the mountain.

  19. This reminds me of that young Chinese tourist/social media Allen Chau who got himself cannibalise in the Sentinel Island.

  20. Did he just said "we can't tell in what kind of fitness you are beforehand"?? That would be completely false. You can measure objectively how much endurance, strenght, stamina, VO2max you have beforehand. That guy is just protecting his tourism company.

  21. It's called EgoTourism
    "Live or Die trying"
    -Grimm Ripper smiles on top 🤣

  22. So if they sell 381 permits @ 11k a piece, and they make $300M per year off the mountain, it seems like a few less permits could be sold, considering it makes up 1% of the revenue.

    Either this video’s numbers are off, or the Nepalese government needs someone good at math.

  23. What's the point if you don't have stamina and endurance? just going there to make up numbers and make it a living hell for others. Not blaming Nepal's government taking money from these slackers who have a death wish for a selfie.

  24. These idiots are also damaging the mountain and surrounding environment. Sherpas recently brought down 11 TONNES of rubbish left by selfish tourist climbers.

  25. The $price$ these people pay just to go see the heaven gate or should I say the hell gate.

  26. Keep going we need less people it’s over populated anyway. only “rich arrogant” people can do it so keep going!

  27. You can hire me to accompany you and clean your trash to summit for $100000

  28. here is my list of measures:
    1. k2 or kangchenjanga or nanga parbat or annapourna as a prerequisite for climbing everest (this alone will decimate the numbers of mountain lovers),
    2. all trash including excrements and empty oxygen bottles should be brought down by each climber him/herself (these always say they wanna challenge themselves) with 100K deposit,
    3. no fixed ropes (there goes another half of amateurs),
    4. triple the amount of licence fee (still interested?),
    5. lottery between teams on final push days between 10 and 30 may,
    6. lottery on the limited number of licenses per season,
    7. obligatory first attempt in september.
    i mean if only nepal government would want they figure out how to solve the problem

  29. Circa 4:06 the guy says that that "interest has increased in the past few years tenfold" (equivalent to 1000%) then follows up with that the increase has been 10% per year (equivalent to 100% over a full decade). His incorrect grasp of rudimentary math doesn't fill me with confidence if he were to be calculating my oxygen requirements… just sayin' 🤷‍♀️

  30. If i was there id be making deals to hold wallets while they climb if you get my hint…

  31. It don't matter if you're dying it's no one's responsibility but their own so if they died that's on them stop putting blame on other people if they die they die

  32. 5:25 “Sherpas guide people up and down the mountain” excuse me?!? Guide people up the mountain?? The Sherpas literally do everything. Before the season even begins, a team of Sherpas goes up to install the ladders and set the lines. The Sherpas cook, clean, setup Base Camp, Advanced Base Camp, all the camps. All the tourists do is carry a light daypack. The Sherpas do all the heavy lifting.

  33. Could they not just increase the price of permits ? Only issue 200 a year at $50,000.00 or $25,000.00 then they make more money and have a wait list set up and could screen climbers and groups while not affecting their bottom line .

  34. Mount everest sounds like a pg way of saying mount death. Bodies REST up there forEVER, and trying to get them down can lead to more deaths. But who knows maybe one day these people will evolve into a species that thrives on high altitude low, oxygen and extremely cold temperatures.

  35. Rich people playing games … what else are they going to do to make themselves feel special… F..k em ..

  36. most of these rich idiot have no past experience of mountaineering in much high altitude. So few are bound to die even if nature is on their side. Everest is not a place for selfie…

  37. Why not talk about how these "mountaineering" companies charge tens of thousands of dollars and only pay the sherpas peanuts a day.

  38. Oh, no! Wealthy white people are dying from their own greed and ego. Let's make a video on that. Let's ignore the people living in poverty in that very same environment.

  39. The ape man has developed over thousands of years to a more temperate environment and it is not supposed to be walking around at 28,000'. He would also die if it flew a open airplane at such a altitude also.

  40. Because they are overinflated narcisists with a hidden low self esteem so that they just have to do stupid, meaningless and costly actions to prove themselves. Sadly they do not all die.

  41. They should not allow cameras up there period. If your reasoning for climbing Everest is about recognition on social media you shouldn’t be allowed to go up there. People and there social media and selfies it’s pathetic

  42. So sad to see this mountain getting more ruined with each year that goes by

  43. Thanks for info…very useful..but i think climbing mount Everest is a thrill of life…being on top of thr roof of the world..sherpas are great people..they are earning their livelihood from Everest..there is risk everywhere…atleast they shid be thankf to Mount Everest and shudnt complain…people who go there shud know what is the risk involved…rest is a life time experience…and its completely ethical.

  44. People are willing to pay and die.
    Companies are happy to take the money.

  45. It will be safer and easier for the mountaineers if the Chinese government could build an elevator which can send them directly to the top of Mount Everest in a very short period of time, thus extra oxygen demand may be less or even not at all. Technically it is possible.

  46. They say dying on top of the mountain is best death according to hindusim ( not suicide)

  47. Entitled, delusional, white people, having Sherpas do all of the work and yet claimimg to have "Conquered Everest".

  48. seriously i never understood why people would like to do this

  49. Respect nature this is crazy…the only people I feel sorry for are the locals who risk their lives to take idiots to the top of the world…yeah you guys claim to be so intelligent but spend a fortune to die like some homeless guy in the cold.

  50. I have no sympathy for the business men who send inexperienced tourists to the top of Mount Everest. I don’t care that they want or need money, people are dying.

  51. More people die in a single day from distracted driving in the United States (350+) than have died climbing Everest since 1954.

  52. what happens when peoples egos are bigger than mount everest

  53. It has been said that 75% of the climbers on Mt. Everest are NOT experienced, are NOT acclimated, are NOT equipped to summit the mountain and in short, do NOT belong on the mountain at all. But every year, egoists will die in a quest to be able to brag they climbed Mt. Everest whether they summit or not. The mountain is Nepal's primary source of income so they do NOT care whether you live or die on the mountain. Tibet is a bit to blame but not as much as Nepal. There are several mountains far more difficult, Everest is EASY compared to them, but it has a stigma now that draws people there who just do NOT really know what they are getting into, that they can easily die!
    PEOPLE SPEND A LOT OF MONEY ON EQUIPMENT, TRAVEL TO THE MOUNTAIN, EQUIPMENT, all in order to have the chance die, which few really realize or believe. They hear that, are told that, but their egos are such that they cannot comprehend it, or just do not want to believe it, they get "summit fever" become brain-addled from hypoxia and fall prey to their own egos and die. It's the same every single year!

  54. They should only give permits to people who have a lot of climbing experience, something like "you should prove you summited at least 1 other peak over 8000m and 5 other peaks at over 7000m over the course of 3 years or more". this way only people who love mountains and mountaineering will be able to get a permit. I doubt anyone else will go through all the trouble to "be on top of the world for 5 minutes".

  55. Euro pink/orange gone wild again as usual, this is not your world like u feel so try respect nature so called white people

  56. I wanna climb just for the love of climbing. If this is what its turning into i want no part of it. Im not dying for a tourist attraction

  57. Not all places likes to have traffic jam or are pollution tolerant.

  58. Inexperienced Climbers need to start gaining such by trekking and climbing – Alpinism – Everest is not just a tourist attraction! This is nuts! Should learn how to actually mountaineer – Fix your own ropes- carry your own equipment – climb with experienced teammates-Be self reliant – Respect and listen to assigned Sherpas! Nepal needs to encourage other peaks and just trekking as well!

  59. Everest should not be attempted without experience! Try smaller climbs and train for at least a year!

  60. my worry is the economy for Nepal that relies on Everest but with climate change and the big impact each year tourist climb; they need to diversify their economy. Those sherpas will no longer have a high paying job in what 40 to 50 years if not sooner. I do hope the government makes changes and tourist companies just do better as its lives of many.

  61. Actually the reason why there was a long line, was because two people died near the summit. This line rarely happens, but I guess the media is in need of clicks.

  62. "India and China have gotten richer over the past years."
    What that's got to do with it? We all know it's NOT the Chinese and Indians who cause traffic jams up there… It's the influencers, stock brokers and other "achievers" from the "west of westeros."

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