Mount Everest. The highest mountain (above sea level) in the world. An incredibly challenging climb that only master climbers can conquer. One of the mightiest peaks in the legendary Himalayan mountain range. What’s that? There’s a… Traffic jam? That’s what Nirmal Purja found when he approached the peak of the formidable route.
Nirmal Purja is attempting an incredible challenge, of climbing to the summit of all 14 8000m+ Himalayan peaks in 7 months. This would smash the former record, which is nearly 8 years. Purja has already completed 6 of the peaks in 31 days, so is a week ahead of schedule. This should allow him some preparation time or leeway if weather conditions are particularly bad.
According to himself, he is, “blessed with an awesome physiology and trained with the best Special Forces in the World “Special Boat Service“. I am a combined force and a great composition of both elements.” He should add modesty to that list, too.
Purja is seeking funding for the second leg of his quest, but it is this photo of the Everest summit that went viral. And it is symptomatic of a larger problem. Overcrowding at the summit could be adding to the number of fatalities on Everest’s unforgiving slopes. 11 people have already died this year while climbing the 8,848 meter (29,029 feet) mountain. That is already twice as many as last year.
Experienced climbers blame overcrowding, due to the commercialisation of the route. It should be emphasised that this really is for experienced climbers only. Most people can only spend a minute or two at the summit of Everest without additional oxygen supplies, due to the thin air. However, with queues this long, the lack of oxygen for an extended period could be contributing towards altitude sickness and ultimately deaths.
It’s an impressive photo, but it hides a dark secret. Let us know what you think about it in the comments. Would you attempt to climb Everest? Share with your family and friends, and check out similar stories on Happiest.