Mount Everest Deaths

The Grave Reality of Mount Everest Deaths

Mount Everest deaths are reality even though a lot of people would not like to think about it. Mt Everest is located on the border of Nepal and Tibet in the Himalayas and is a climbers dream. Thousands of climbing enthusiasts have attempted to reach the summit which stands an incredible 8,848 meters above sea level. Its allure is obvious to the trained climber. However, Mount Everest deaths prove its danger again and again.

The grave reality is that some 200 people still lie dead along the slopes of Mount Everest. Over the years statistically speaking 1 out of every 10 successful climbs has ended in death. The majority of Mount Everest deaths occurred while descending the mountain as opposed to on the climb to the summit.

A study was conducted from 1921 through 2006 to examine the mortality rate amongst climbers of Mount Everest. It was conducted by the British Medical Journal and gave these statistics: 8,030 climbers during this time frame, of which 212 died on the mountain. That is a staggering number of Mount Everest deaths!

Using those numbers they also determined that 56% died on their descent from the summit and 17% died after deciding to turn back prior to reaching the summit. The remaining 15% died on the way up or before leaving the summit.

They attribute the fact that more people die on the way down, rather than on the way up to the amount energy exerted trying to reach the summit. The climbers are exhausted and their energy has been depleted.

Anything about 8,000 meters is called the “death zone” on Mount Everest due to the low oxygen levels. Most climbers use supplementary oxygen once past this point as the air is not able to support life for very long. These low oxygen levels wreak havoc on the human body and brain. They can cause a climber to breathe much faster, from a normal rate of 20-30 breaths per minute to a whopping 80-90 breath per minute. This can exhaust your energy extremely quickly just trying to breathe. The high altitudes can cause cerebral edema and pulmonary edema, which cause a build-up of fluid to the brain or lungs which can be fatal.

The sad reality of Mount Everest is that a large percentage of those that die on the mountain, remain on the mountain. The reasons include inclement and dangerous weather conditions and the simple reality that trying to carry even a small amount of additional weight threatens the life of the rescuers.

Mount Everest will remain a life-long goal for mountaineers world-wide. Sadly it will also remain the grave of those who tried and failed.

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