Four climbers died over the weekend as a rush of adventurers tried to reach the top of Mount Everest, creating what Nepali mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha described as a “traffic jam.” With so many people crowding the world’s highest peak, many have to spend more time at high altitudes than they should, forcing them to use up their oxygen, and increasing the chances that the notoriously perilous climb will prove deadly. This weekend, another crowd is expected to exploit a narrow window of good weather as they scramble for the summit. Here, a look at the risks of scaling Everest, by the numbers:
Climbers who died last weekend. They were apparently killed from exhaustion and altitude sickness as they descended from the summit.
Nepalese guides who died on the mountain last month
Deaths on Everest in 1996, the most deadly climbing season on record
Deaths on May 10, 1996, the deadliest day since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to reach the mountain’s summit in 1953. Climbers became vulnerable to a late-afternoon snowstorm.
Climber who dies for every 10 successful ascents to Everest’s summit
People who have died trying to climb the 29,035-foot Everest
Low end of the average temperature range, in degrees Fahrenheit, at the top of Everest. The high end of the range is -4 degrees.