This Everest climbing season has been one of the deadliest in history. According to reports, there have been 11 deaths on the mountain so far, most of which have been attributed to an increase in unskilled climbers hiring climbing outfits to get them to the summit. That, and the Nepalese government issuing more permits than the mountain can handle.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, 18-year-old Rizza Alee from Kashmir explained his efforts to summit in recent days as a “death race.”
“I asked people for water and no one gave me any,” he said. “People are really obsessed with the summit. They are ready to kill themselves for [it].”
In a video captured by the young climber, throngs of people can be seen waiting on-belay to continue up the mountain.
The footage comes just a week after an image snapped by alpinist Nirmal Purja of a traffic jam near Everest’s summit went viral.
“I summited everest at 5:30 a.m. and lhotse 3:45 p.m. despite of [sic] the heavy traffic (roughly 320 people),” he wrote on Facebook.
The situation has become so tenuous this season that climbers like Alee believe the Nepalese government needs to intervene.
“I think [the government] should limit the number of climbers for one year… and they should check how is the climber actually,” he said. “Is he a certified climber? Has he climbed some mountains before? Is he an experienced guy? Is he healthy?”
In recent days, Nepalese officials have begun to reevaluate the Everest permitting process, according to the New York Times.
“Certainly there will be some change in the expedition sector,” Mira Acharya, a senior official with Nepal’s tourism department, told the Times. “We are discussing reforming some issues, including setting criteria for every Everest hopeful.”