Traffic Jams Come to Mount Everest
Every year, for a few days in May, the winds whipping Mount Everest subside slightly. The ice softens, and that’s when adventurous climbers start to scale the slopes. High altitudes and thin air are ever-present dangers every season. This year, though, presents a special and equally hazardous obstacle: traffic jams.
The Washington Post reports that more tourists applied for climbing permits this year than in any of the last 60 years, and Nepal officials said up to 800 people could be trying to reach the summit at once. That could create delays as travelers wait to pass—and standing still or moving too slowly in the cold temperatures can quickly lead to frostbite. A year with 600 climbers saw a death toll of 11; this season, 10 people have already died on the mountain.