Toll in Everest 'Traffic Jam' Hits 4

One of the deadliest days in mountain's history
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2012 6:51 AM CDT
Toll in Everest 'Traffic Jam' Hits 4
In this Tuesday, May 6, 2003 file photo, Mount Everest, as seen from an airplane.   (AP Photo/Binod Joshi, File)

A fourth climber died on Mount Everest on Saturday, his body spotted not far from where three other climbers perished on one of the mountain's deadliest days. The Chinese climber and the three other victims are believed to have suffered altitude sickness and exhaustion, the AP reports; all four died on their way down. They were part of an Everest "traffic jam" of 150 climbers attempting to take advantage of the window of good weather on Friday and Saturday. Officials expect a similar scramble this weekend, as around 200 climbers attempt to reach the summit between Friday and Sunday, the AP adds.

Officials are increasingly concerned about overcrowding on Everest; on Saturday, after waiting at a staging camp for days, some climbers began heading for the summit at 2:30pm. Leaving for the summit any time after 11am is not recommended, and Saturday's rush was likely even more dangerous because climbers used all their energy on the way up, leaving little for the way down, says an expert. Adds an official, "With the traffic jam, climbers had a longer wait for their chance to go up the trail and spent too much time at higher altitude. Many of them are believed to be carrying a limited amount of oxygen, not anticipating the extra time spent." (More Mount Everest stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.