2019 death toll on Everest reaches 10

2019 death toll on Everest reaches 10
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Mt. Everest has seen one of its deadliest climbing seasons in years, due largely to an excess number of inexperienced climbers on the mountain, according to The New York Times.

Ten people have died climbing the mountain this season so far, according to the Times, which veteran climbers blame not on weather conditions or avalanches but on too many people on the mountain, particularly inexperienced people. Experienced mountaineers also told the Times the Nepalese government has issued more permits than the mountain can handle.

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Sherpas and climbers told the Times that some of the deaths this year were the result of climbers being held up in lines on the last 1,000 feet of the climb with no access to their oxygen supply. In addition, Nepal has no rules about who can climb the mountain.

“You have to qualify to do the Iron Man. You have to qualify to run the New York marathon,” Alan Arnette, a prominent Everest chronicler and climber, told the Times. “But you don’t have to qualify to climb the highest mountain in the world? What’s wrong with this picture?”

The most recent death was that of Robin Haynes Fisher of Britain on Saturday at around 28,215 feet, according to the Times.

“I have climbed Everest so many times, but this spring’s traffic jam was the worst,” Tshering Jangbu Sherpa, a guide who climbed the mountain on May 22, told the Times. “Many climbers who moved to the summit without extra supplement oxygen bottles suffered the most. They suffered because of the traffic jam, not because of wind and coldness.”

Danduraj Ghimire, director general of Nepal’s tourism department, disputed the idea that traffic had made climbing the mountain more dangerous, attributing it instead to delays in fixing the rope that climbers use and the fact that numerous climbers only want to climb the mountain on the best climbing day.

The last year that 10 climbers died in one season was in 2015.