More than six decades ago, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest, becoming the very first climbers to conquer the world’s tallest mountain. Since that incredible feat in May of 1953, the summit of Everest has become increasingly congested and rubbish-strewn
More and more climbers are now reaching the summit, thanks to advances in mountaineering equipment. Indeed, scaling Everest is becoming a lucrative business, with westerners forking over anywhere between $10,000 and $100,000 for permits to climb it. The following infographic uses data to show how scaling the mountain has increased in popularity, using data from a range of sources, including the blog on alanarnette.com
and historical data from 8000ers.com
. The former estimates that 825 ascents have already been made this season which would make it the busiest year in history.
The increasing number of climbers tackling Everest
has resulted in immense gridlock and irritating waiting periods near the summit. The waiting periods are also fraught with danger, causing exhaustion, dehydration and death in some cases. Just last week, at least ten people were killed on the mountain including climbers from India, Ireland, the UK and the United States. A photo taken by mountaineer Nirmal Purja recently went viral, showing a long line of climbers snaking up towards the summit.
The weather has also caused problems in recent days but the sheer volume of climbers undoubtedly contributed to last week's fatalities. Attempts to reach a solution and protect amateur mountaineers have divided the climbing community. Proposals to install ladders on treacherous rock faces have angered professionals who do not want to see the challenge of Everest undermined. Until 1985, authorities in Nepal only permitted one expedition on a route to the summit at any one time. Reviving this rule may prove a realistic long-term solution to alleviate the Everest ‘traffic jam’.