Author Topic: Mt Everest has a traffic problem?  (Read 364 times)

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Offline steve58

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Offline Gusington

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Re: Mt Everest has a traffic problem?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2019, 07:25:14 AM »
A guy I work with had a friend who was an expert mountain climber and died a few weeks ago because his Sherpa guides could not get him down the mountain quick enough after he had a medical issue at the top of Mt. Everest. So this traffic issue is very real.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Mt Everest has a traffic problem?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2019, 08:23:04 AM »
The next time someone tries to tell you that a whole generation is growing up in western civilization which has never known prosperity, and therefore we should burn down the capitalist system etc. --- I'm going to point to this problem.

 >:D :2funny:

I mean, it isn't funny that people are dying, of course. (The friend of Gus' friend for example, sorry to hear about that.  :'( ) But still. Aside from that, a literal traffic jam of people with the free time, capital, and capability of climbing the tallest peak on the planet, in one of the most hostile and remote environments on Earth? That has to be at least a little funny, in itself!

I mean, I'm looking at that line and wondering, so, are the climbers going down off the other side of the peak? Or are they trying to shuffle past each other going back down on this approach?  ???

(The OD-C part of my head is also now trying to figure out what those short white streaks are. Not contrails, surely...? Individual snowflakes zipping past going upward perhaps? They're sort of in line with the angle of the wind going up off the rockface, but the powder there isn't streaking in the shot's resolution, so it's a high-speed camera shot (presumably electronic) which would have to mean those streaks are going faster than the camera can resolve at its shutter speed (or the electronic equivalent thereof). So, faster than the wind. Or, are those little streaks physically there, being blown by the wind? Or are they damage to the lens? -- bits of rock grain thrown by the same windangle impacting the lens...?)
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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Mt Everest has a traffic problem?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2019, 09:09:45 AM »
I do all my mountain climbing in Skyrim.
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Offline Toonces

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Re: Mt Everest has a traffic problem?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2019, 09:34:42 AM »
I haven't read the article yet, but I suppose it will say what I'm about to say.

This actually isn't new.  I believe Krakauer (sp) talked about traffic jams on the ascent/descent in Into Thin Air and that was back in 1996 or so.

From what I understand, there is a single line that lead both up and down from the mountain at that point.  In one of life's ironies, the most difficult part of the Everest climb occurs right at the very end at the Hillary Step.  It's fairly technical, and only one person can be doing it at a time, and this is when you're at the absolute end of your strength and endurance.  The result is that things get bottlenecked by the slowest climber...both ways.

It is possible to unclip from the line and go around a slow climber.  But while you're unclipped and passing another climber, if you slip and start sliding at all...you're climbing on ice remember...you're going over the side and that's it.  So it's not a trivial decision.

What I find even more amazing is how many people have both the time and disposable income to climb Everest.  It takes something like 3 months total to climb the mountain with all the time required for acclimatization.  Then, a permit to climb the mountain is about $10k, after which you still have to get gear, Sherpas, transport to and from Kathmandu...Call it $30k.  And, finally, about 1 in 10 climbers on each expedition dies.

So, yeah, that picture makes sense, and then it also doesn't.
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Offline Pete Dero

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Re: Mt Everest has a traffic problem?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2019, 09:50:18 AM »
https://www.thedailybeast.com/human-traffic-jams-have-led-to-18-deaths-on-mt-everest-this-climbing-season?ref=home

A 41-year-old British man was the 18th person to die this climbing season after waiting in long lines to come down from Mt. Everest.

Everest tourism officials said that most of the deaths were due to weakness, exhaustion and delays on the over-crowded route to the summit.

Offline MikeGER

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Re: Mt Everest has a traffic problem?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2019, 02:18:51 AM »
Nepal sells just to many slots/permits a year for a save expedition

they should reduce the numbers and auction half the tickets, which will sure lead to a skyrocket price tags above the $20k now (and so cover the loss of the reduced numbers of permits)
and do a lottery for the other half with just the regular price tag, so everybody who dares still get a chance beside the über-rich

also if a climber aborts his mission before reaching the summit, he should be allowed to keep his permit for a retry in the next 5 years or so.