Four climbers perished Saturday returning from the summit of the world’s highest mountain. The climbers, who are believed to have died from altitude sickness, were part of roughly 150 climbers from different expeditions rushing to take advantage of a patch of clear weather, which resulted in a “traffic jam,” according to the Associated Press.
Over the last two months, Tim Rippel, owner of Peak Freak expeditions, has been leading his own group of climbers up the mountian. The high-altiude guide has been live blogging the entire journey. Although none of the four climbers who were killed were part of the Peak Freak expedition, Rippel has been aware of the overcrowding. He wrote on his blog:
Helicopters???? What the heck is going on this year? Everyday morning till afternoon it’s buzzing up here. This morning as early as 06:30am one came in waking everyone up. I’m told its climbers going home sick or other, not sure but it’s certainly not the quiet mountain environment it used to be.
With the help of Rippel’s blog and video footage from Peak Freak’s 2011 expedition, we’ve provided an idea of what this year’s perilous trek might look like.
On March 29, the team arrives to Kathmandu, Nepal. After sleeping off jet-lag and some team bonding, they fly to Lukla on April 1.
From there, it's all on foot. The team travels through a number of villages, including Monjo, Namche Bazaar and Pangboche.
On April 5, the team arrives to Dingboche, where every year they receive a special blessing from Lama Gehse.
The team also gets a chance to see the mountains during the full moon. The moonlight reflects off of the snow and ice making the mountains glow.
To properly acclimate to the mountain, Peak Freaks set up three additional camps higher on the mountain.
On April 19, the team learns of the first death. Karsang Namgyal Sherpa, a climber who has reached the peak a number of times, died of altitude sickness when he collapsed at the base camp.
On April 21, the Peak Freak team lost one of their own, bringing the death count to two. Namgya Sherpa fell to his death after loosing his balance while trying to cross a ladder.
The last update on peakfreaks.com was on May 21, announcing that team #2 was going to make another bid to reach the peak.
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