Mt. Everest Is Killing People Left And Right These Days
By "these days" I mean the past two, when four people have perished trying to ascend and descend the world's tallest mountain. Rather than dying of falls or anything of that nature, the four all died of exhaustion and altitude sickness on their way DOWN from the summit.
To me, there's something infinitely more sad about summiting, then dying on your way down than there is about dying on your way up. Something about a last hurrah, I guess. I don't know, but this seems worse.
The problem seems to be the high number of climbers this year, who get backlogged at the beginning of the Hilary Step on the way to the summit. All that sitting around leads to too much time spent in the "kill zone," the elevation where your body starts to slowly, then quickly, break down and die due to lack of oxygen.
It didn't do these climbers in until they had already summitted, but it was just as deadly as it would have been on the ascent. Unfortunately, it might get even worse as 200 climbers try to summit this weekend.
Good luck, guys. Stay safe.