The Story Behind Another Deadly Year on Everest


Another record was set on Everest this year. The 73-year-old Japanese woman summited, making her the oldest woman who has ever stood on the roof of the world and made it back down unharmed.

The Tourism Ministry in Kathmandu is considering imposing an age limit of 80 for Everest alpinists. It has also decided to stop issuing certificates for records that have nothing to do with climbing. "Otherwise there'll be a dance party up there one of these days," says a ministry employee.

Billi Bierling, a Swiss professional mountain climber who has been writing an Everest diary for years, doesn't believe that the carnival atmosphere on Everest will end. "The disaster in May was a signal that the mountain urgently needs a break. But it won't get it. There's too much money to be made on Everest," he says.

Six people died on Mount Everest on the weekend of May 19-20, four on the South Col route and two on the Northern Ridge route.

Just one week later, 197 found their way to the summit of Mt. Everest.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

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