MT. EVEREST: LEARN FROM TRAGEDY, TIGHTEN SAFETY MEASURES
28, May 2019
Prelims level : Environment Mains level : Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
Why in News:
- The safety protocol must be tightened to scale Everest.
- Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak at 8,848 metres, draws adventurers from all over. But the mountain on the Nepal-China border is fast becoming a dangerous place to visit even for the hardened mountaineer.
This season, at least 10 climbers have died or gone missing, including four Indians. Experts have been calling for Nepal to restrict the number of permits.
It awarded a record 381 for this spring, each fetching $11,000 (climbing from the Tibet side is more expensive)
- In 2012, the United Nations estimated that there were more than 26,000 visitors to the Everest region, and this figure has grown manifold since then.
- Waiting in sub-zero temperatures at the rarefied altitude can be fatal — this season’s
- deaths were mostly due to frostbite, exhaustion, dehydration and lack of oxygen. In 1996 when eight persons died in a single day amid an unexpected storm.
- The adventure industry that is built around the human desire to scale the peak has meant many amateurs take up the challenge, confident that support teams and specialised equipment will make up for their lack of adequate mountaineering experience.
Highest garbage dump
- The commercial operations have led to the Everest being called the world’s highest garbage dump as many climbers discard non-critical gear and fail to clean up the mess.
- The authorities must learn from this year’s tragedies and work out an optimum number of climbers and strengthen safety measures.