Everest Overcrowding: Can It Be Fixed?

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In the quest to explain why
four climbers died on one of Mt. Everest’s deadliest days ever, much attention has gone to overcrowding on the 29,035-foot peak.

When the season’s first good weather window opened on Friday and
Saturday, about 150 climbers lined up to go for the summit. Many had to
wait an hour or more for their turn. And some ended up making the final
push, with dwindling oxygen supplies, in the late afternoon — far too
late to be safe. The four climbers who died over the weekend fell to
exhaustion and altitude sickness.

To prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening in the future,
some mountaineers have proposed imposing limits or schedules that would
control how many climbers are allowed on Everest’s slopes and ridges at a
time to avoid a traffic jam. For now, regulations in the Himalayas are

Yet, some guides think it’s unlikely that stricter rules will ever
govern Mt. Everest. Even if there were firmer rules, climbers would
likely still make bad decisions about weather, gear, food and other
critical details.