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The deaths on Everest

My nephew climbed Everest last year, the final one having climbed the highest peak in each of the other continents. From what I understand it was controlled & careful, with significant acclimatisation prior to making the final push to the peak. Those with insufficient experience & issues with altitude sickness were weeded out during the climbs to the lower base camps. However careful, there is always a risk though….that’s why people do it and many other “extreme sports”.

I think there was an element of making the most mischief with that photo. In normal circumstances the climbers are taken up in stages to the peak but the unusual weather conditions only gave them a two day window to get everyone up who had spent weeks & significant funds preparing…hence the queues.

No deaths are welcome but the numbers here are tiny compared with those that die from smoking & we don’t ban that or price them out of people’s reach, so why change anything about Everest?

Essex UK

I guess if I had a grandchild or anyone young I know who would want to do it and have the means to do it anyway, I’d tell them to take on other mountains first before Everest, that is if they’re inexperienced still. The number of casualties there is no joke.

I don’t suppose many of us have tried to climb Everest – but I do understand why people want to. And, with travel being more accessible to more people across the world, it’s not surprising that hundreds of them want to reach the summit. I also understand why Nepal and Tibet allow as many people as they can up the mountain – they are poor countries and it’s a valuable source of income.

Climbing that high will never be risk-free. The terrain itself is challenging, coupled with the weather, and the altitude – but it seems (from the reports) that the numbers are becoming an unacceptable risk in themselves.

But – how to resolve that? Do people have to book years in advance (like you do if you want to go to the bottom of the Grand Canyon) to deter anyone making last-minute decisions? Pricing it so high that only Richard Branson et al could possibly afford it but Nepal and Tibet would still have and income?

As I said, it’s probably beyond most of us, now – but what advice would you give to a grandson or granddaughter wanting to do it?

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