Monday, May 27th 2019, 6:19 pm - One climber says 'human traffic jams' on the summit are contributing to the deaths.
An Indian mountaineer who was forced to turn back before summiting Mount Everest said on Monday (May 27) that the lack of trained guides and delays on the crowded route up the 8,850-metre (29,035 feet) summit were key factors in the spate of deaths on the mountain.
Rizza Alee, an 18-year-old climber from India's Kashmir, said that the "massive traffic jams" up the mountain had made scaling the world's most sought after climb "a death race."
Alee said he was distraught after he had to abort his climb to the summit from camp four, less than 1,000 metres from the top, because of a faulty oxygen regulator and that walking away from a life-long dream was the toughest decision of his life.
AMERICAN CLIMBER DIES MONDAY
Meanwhile, an American climber also died on the descent from the summit of Mount Everest on Monday, taking the number of dead or missing mountaineers on the world's highest mountain to nine on the Nepali side during the current climbing season.
Christopher John Kulish, 61, scaled the peak from the normal Southeast Ridge route in the morning but died suddenly at South Col after descending from the summit, Mira Acharya, a Nepal tourism department official said.
Most of the deaths on Everest this year have been attributed to exhaustion and tiredness, exacerbated because a crowded route to and from the summit has led to delays. The short climbing season ends this month.
About 5,000 people have scaled the Everest summit so far and about 300 have died on its slopes.
A record 381 climbers had been permitted to scale the summit from the Nepali side this season. About 130 others were tackling Everest from the mountain's northern side in Tibet.
(Production: Neeraj Khanna, Sunil Kataria, Rosalind Church)