A Crowded Mount Everest

May 31, 2019

The 2019 climbing season is turning out to be one of the deadliest up on Mount Everest. At 29,000 feet above sea level, the mountain is the highest in the world, and climbers need oxygen tanks to breathe up at the summit. Three things happened this year to cause such a deadly season: There were not many “good weather” days, too many people received permits, which led to overcrowding on the hiking trail, and inexperienced hikers were climbing the peak.

Did you know that Mount Everest can be climbed from two sides—one in Nepal and the other in China? The Chinese side, which has more restrictions, has seen fewer deaths this year. Nepal is considering tightening up permit requirements as well, but right now, anyone who applies is able to obtain a permit, even if they aren’t experienced climbers. Overcrowded trails mean that climbers have to wait for hours to make their way to the summit, and oxygen supplies often run out while they’re waiting.

Have you ever been to an overcrowded place? What did authorities do to fix the problem?