How not to die on Mount Everest

Photo: Getty Images

More than 300 people have died climbing Mount Everest over the past nearly 100 years. This season alone, the death toll has reached 11, primarily caused by overcrowded trails hindering oxygen-deprived climbers from ascending or descending.

As a public service, therefore, we offer this handy guide on how not to die climbing Mount Everest.

Tour Operators
There are an increasing number of tour operators in Nepal, some of whom are less scrupulous than others. It is important to do your research to ensure that your operator has the experience and know-how to properly lead an exhibition. A good suggestion is to seek recommendations from other climbers who have not died climbing Mount Everest. Once you have settled on an operator, phone them up, ask as many questions as you need, then purchase an expedition gift certificate for your very worst enemy and do not climb Mount Everest.

On Everest, the only things you can truly rely on are yourself, your equipment and an elevated chance of dying a painful death without the possibility of a proper burial. So be sure to invest in top-quality equipment. You’ll need a tent, pack, sleeping bag, boots, crampons, ropes, ice axe, climbing ropes, helmet, cams, nuts, runners, ice screws, carabiners and an executor for your will. Next, take all your equipment, sell it on eBay, come up with some good puns around “crampon” and do not climb Mount Everest.

Plan Your Route
There are two standard routes to summit Mount Everest: the Northeast Ridge in Tibet and the Southeast Ridge in Nepal. While there is no such thing as an easy climb up Everest that definitely won’t kill you, these established routes are the most successful. It’s worth noting that 28% of all deaths on Mount Everest have been on the much less frequented non-standard routes. Therefore, if you do not want to die climbing Mount Everest, plan your route such that you drive your car to a nice sunny beach with no riptides or killer sharks and do not climb Mount Everest.

Respect the weather
At these elevations, the weather can change in a flash, and climbers can find themselves disoriented, freezing, suffering frostbite, hypothermia, even death. To avoid being caught out, watch the forecasts, take the $50,000-$75,000 you otherwise would have spent on climbing Mount Everest, donate it to a charity that is meaningful to you and do not climb Mount Everest.

The Khumbu Icefall
The icefall is essentially a slow-moving river of ice from the Khumbu Glacier starting at the Western Cwm that results in treacherous terrain, deep crevasses and loss of vowels. Climbers can fall into snow-covered crevasses, chunks of towering ice can topple onto them, and there is always the risk of avalanche. The best strategy for approaching the Khumbu Icefall, therefore, is speed — namely running away from the Khumbu Icefall as quickly as possible and not climbing Mount Everest.

The Death Zone
Once past 8000 metres, the atmosphere at Everest is highly depleted of oxygen, and temperatures can reach -25C in high winds. To avoid agonizing death, climbers must summit as quickly as possibly, stay for only a short period and descend just as quickly, a task made that much more difficult this year due to the overcrowding of the trails. Even if death is avoided, progress is slow and painful, depression and psychosis can set in, and you may possibly lose the will to live. We recommend capturing the same experience by watching Wine Country on Netflix and not climbing Mount Everest.

Stay hydrated
In addition to lack of oxygen, cold, wind, avalanches, crevasses, frostbite, hypothermia, cerebral and pulmonary edema, ice collapse and getting splattered by adventure tourists plummeting from above, one of the greatest contributors to high-altitude health problems is dehydration. So have plenty to drink in a bar reasonably close to sea level as you raise a toast to not climbing Mount Everest.

Know your limitations
Many inexperienced climbers fall into trouble on Mount Everest because they lack the wisdom to fail. Rather than turn around when mountain or health conditions deteriorate, they press on. In order not die on Mount Everest, at every step of the way you must always ask yourself, “Should I be climbing Mount Everest?”


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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25 Responses to How not to die on Mount Everest

  1. I can’t even imagine…

  2. You’re a master tactician, these all sound excellent to me.
    As the Sherpa saying goes, “It’s a slippery slope when you step away from armchair adventuring, especially if the camel’s nose has entered the tent, because even Bactrian camels, used to taking careful steppes in the snow, don’t like subzero weather, their noses drip, and then there’s frozen schmutz all over the ice.” It seems like a very long saying, but I guess it’s shorter in Nepali. There’s also “Namaskar,” often rendered in English as “Nascar,” meaning, “Why race to your death, babu, it’s already all downhill from here.”

  3. *Wine Country* might have been improved if Melissa McCarthy was in the cast. I wonder if the same could be said about Everest? Yes? No?

  4. rishvangopi says:

    Have you watched the movie ‘Everest’ ? Is it similar to this ?

  5. So Ross, you’re saying we shouldn’t climb Mt. Everest, right?

  6. ksbeth says:

    yes, I agree, no.

  7. Nadine says:

    That title and then the picture!!!! Immediate lols.

  8. List of X says:

    I suspect that the true reason that the oxygen levels are so low near the top is because of all those crowds of climbers trying to breathe deep with excitement.

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