One of the most crowded and risky climbing seasons on Mount Everest in recent years ended Saturday with six deaths and 240 successful ascents in just five days.
The last day of the season fraught with danger due to the little window of opportunity provided by weather and rush of climbers witnessed 87 people reaching the world’s highest peak at 8,848 metres.
“A total of 57 Nepali and 30 foreigners reached the summit on Saturday. In all, 240 people (195 Nepali) scaled the peak this season,” said Tilak Ram Pandey, liaison officer, department of mountaineering, at the ministry of tourism and civil aviation.
Several Indian climbers also managed to reach the peak on the last day. But their details were not immediately available.
Six deaths this season, four of them last weekend of climbers from Canada, China, South Korea and Germany due to exhaustion and altitude sickness, have again raised questions of safety on Everest.
Due to very few favourable days each climbing season, there’s a rush among climbers who sometimes take unnecessary risks. And because of the large number of climbers, there’s overcrowding at some points on the way to the peak and down.
The highlights of this season include a world record by Japan’s Tamae Watanabe, 73, who broke her own 10-year-old record as the oldest woman to scale Everest.