• SHARE

There will be two things that people remember about the 2019 spring climbing season on Mount Everest. The first is the death toll. As of May 28, it was 11. The second is a now-iconic image taken near the summit on May 22. In it, dozens of climbers are lined up on a ridge just below the peak, awaiting their chance to stand atop the world’s highest mountain. It’d be comical, except that the traffic jam occurred at a deadly, low-oxygen altitude.

The tragedy is that none of this is new. For years, overcrowding on Everest has been well documented. It’s a problem compounded by the fact that the mountain is a major source of revenue for Nepal, the base for most ascents. Reforms that restrict the numbers of paying climbers and trekkers are unlikely to make much progress against the economic incentives to increase traffic. Instead, Nepal should seek to invite the private sector to help manage Everest and other peaks. More commercialization, not less, is the best route to promoting safety.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)