A new photograph has revealed trekkers on Mt Everest climbing over a body on route to the top – one of at least 11 people to have perished during this year’s ‘deadly’ season.
Canadian adventure filmmaker Elia Saikaly shared a number of haunting images to Facebook as he documented his journey, highlighting the increasingly publicised overcrowding at the summit.
The situation has been described by some as “Lord of the Flies at 8800 metres.”
Mr Saikaly says it was his “responsibility” to highlight the “carnage” he witnessed, as he called upon authorities to intervene in a perilous season.
“This poor human being perched 7000ft above the Western CWM for everyone to observe was a reminder of each of our own mortality. Was this the ‘Dream of Everest’ we all imagined?,” he asks his followers.
“My heart bled for the family and loved ones and at the same time I was conscious of the necessity to continue to move. At nearly 9000m above sea level, there is no choice but to carry on.
“Who is responsible here? The individuals? The companies? The Government? Is it time to enforce new rules? Will things ever change? What’s the solution here?”
At least 11 climbers have died on Mount Everest this climbing season.
Most are believed to have succumbed to altitude sickness while battling low oxygen levels during the long descent down the mountain.
Unconscious Australian man rescued
Australian Gilian Lee, who was stranded unconscious on Mount Everest, cheated death after an extraordinary rescue mission involving a yak.
Few details have emerged since news broke of the his miraculous rescue, which involved a yak and a team of Tibetan alpine specialists who were on the mountain doing repair work.
The team stumbled across an exhausted Mr Lee at an altitude of 7500 metres on the northern slopes of the mountain on Wednesday last week.
The day before, Mr Lee posted on Twitter that he’d had a “rough night” at Camp One, at an elevation of around 6000m, due to a persistent chest infection.
The team used the yak to drag him to the safety of base camp. The Canberra man was reportedly taken to a hospital in Kathmandu where his condition has improved, The China Daily has reported.
The Nepalese government has issued an unprecedented number of climbing licenses this year, enabling more explorers to make the journey than before.
American attorney the 11th to die this climbing season
Boulder attorney Christopher Kulish died at a camp below the summit during his descent, becoming the latest in a string of fatalities on the world’s tallest peak.
The 62-year-old had just reached the top of Everest with a small group after crowds of hundreds of climbers congested the 8,850-metre peak last week, his brother said.
“He saw his last sunrise from the highest peak on Earth. At that instant, he became a member of the ‘7 Summit Club,’ having scaled the highest peak on each continent,” Mark Kulish said in a statement.
“He passed away doing what he loved, after returning to the next camp below the peak,” Mark Kulish said.
Other climbers recount their experiences
Climber Alan Arnette, who writes a blog about conditions on Mount Everest each season, wrote that last week would go down “as one of the best and worst in Everest history”.
Canadian documentary filmmaker Elia Saikaly attributed this season’s rising death toll on Everest there being too few summit climbing windows of opportunity; too many people; too many inexperienced climbers; and inadequate support for climbers.
Upon reaching Everest’s summit last week, Mr Saikaly posted an Instagram message describing the trek to the top as “completely insane”.
“I cannot believe what I saw up there. Death. Carnage. Chaos. Line-ups. Dead bodies on the route and in tents at camp 4. People who I tried to turn back who ended up dying. People being dragged down. Walking over bodies,” he wrote.
“Everything you read in the sensational headlines all played out on our summit night.”
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Summit!!! . So that was completely insane! I stood on top of the world for the 3rd time on the morning of May 23rd, 2019. More importantly, we all made to the summit and back, safe. . The 4 Arab women, totally crushed it up there. How you climb is as important that you climb and they all graciously made it to the top of the world. . I shot it all. And I mean all of it. The 'Dream of Everest' is going to be a heck of a ride of a documentary. I pushed myself as hard as I could and never stopped filming. I even jumped up on the knife edge ridge to get the shots of the team on the Hillary Step. It was crazy, over 200 people climbing that night, but totally under control and I can't thank @sherpapk enough for keeping up with the shooting pace and honestly, for keeping me alive by being my safety rigger and climbing partner. I love you man. . To all the Sherpas, my personal Sherpa team, the guides at Madison Mountaineering – all of this is possible because of you. We are nothing without you and all summits are possible because of you. 🙏🏼 . I'm down. I'm safe. And there is a lot more to come! . Totally wild adventure! So grateful to be back at basecamp. . @monakshahab @nellyattar @joyceazzam7s @alharthynoor – SO PROUD of what you've all accomplished. No one supported us with this documentary. No one. And we made it happen. Thank you for trusting me with your stories. The best is yet to come! . #Everest #Summit #topoftheworld #8848 #Everest2019
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British climber, Robin Haynes Fisher collapsed and died on Sunday morning at an altitude of 8,600 meters, about 150 meters below the summit.
A week before, the 41-year-old said he was “hopeful” to have avoided “the crowds on summit day”.
“With a single route to the summit, delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game,” he wrote in an Instagram post.
As of May 20, large crowds on Mount Everest left people queuing in the mountain’s “death zone,” a development that expedition companies blamed for two deaths last week.
An Indian woman and an American man reportedly died from exhaustion after they’d queued for hours at an altitude where there is not enough oxygen for humans to survive unassisted.
Last Wednesday, about 250 climbers attempted to reach the mountain’s summit, The Kathmandu Post reported.