In connection with our reading of Into Thin Air, we have learned a little bit about many other things. For example, Sherpas have
This paper, then, is a research paper. Your topic must be connected to Into Thin Air in some way, but within those
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Deaths of Sherpa’s Caused by Icefalls at Mount Everest based on the Book “Into Thin Air”
Mount Everest often experiences icefalls which constantly cost the lives of the Sherpas. The Sherpas usually climb the mountain before the clients as they tie the ropes which are used by the climbers. Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain, and due to the popularity, many climbers come to visit the mountain from different regions of the world. Notably, Mount Everest experiences icefalls which cost the lives of the climbers particularly the Sherpas.
Statement of the Problem
Deaths from Mount Everest have been contributed by the occurrences of Icefalls which caused detrimental accidents. The Sherpas have been the most affected victims of the icefalls as they execute their role of tying ropes for the climbers, especially during spring as it is the most preferred mountain climbing season.
Increased Death Rates emanating from Icefalls at Mount Everest
The deaths of the Sherpa’s at Mount Everest have continued to increase over the years. According to the book, ‘Into the Thin Air’ by John Krakauer, there have been many disasters occurring at Mt. Everest (Krakauer, 2000). However, the exact number of people who have died while climbing Mount Everest has not been confirmed as most bodies are still not retrieved from the ice, the snow, and the remote parts of the mountain and along the crevasses. However, a recent study has indicated that by 2016, the deaths which were reported on Mount Everest were two hundred and eighty (Green, 2017). The estimated deaths are only 6.5 % of all the climbers who have reached the summit. Remarkably, more than 4000 climbers have been on Mount Everest since the first climber; Edmund Hillary as well as Tenzing Norgay who climbed the mountain in 1953 (Green, 2017).
The Death Zone on Mount Everest
Most of the deaths occur as the climbers are descending having achieved to reach the summit. These deaths occur in the death zones which are the altitude of 8000 meters as a result of the dangerous ice falls. The Icefalls are mostly active in the afternoons and, thereby, constitute the most significant cause of death of climbers on Mount Everest especially during the spring (Green, 2017). The safe time in climbing Mount Everest is between 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. as at this time the glaciers are usually firm and hence the accidents are limited (Jenkins, 2014). Climbing the mountain later than five in the morning increases the susceptibility of the Sherpa’s in the icefall accidents.
Khumbu Icefalls on Mount Everest
Khumbu icefall is known by different generations to have been the most dangerous icefall ever on Mount Everest. The icefall is characterized by a river of ice, which was observed to shift from one glacier to the other. More so, the Khumbu Icefall had overhanging immensities of ice, which was as large as a ten-story building. A Khumbu icefall descent is detrimental and threatens the lives of Sherpas as it continues for more than twenty-four hours. The icefall is also unpredictable as it can break at any time of the day releasing avalanches which descend the mountain carrying with them thousands of tons of ice.
Death of Sixteen Sherpa’s during the 2014 Khumbu Icefall
The recent Khumbu icefall led to the loss of lives of 16 Sherpa guides who were carrying the equipment belonging to their clients up the mountain (The Denver Post, 2016). The avalanche which occurred in 2014 on the Mount Everest wept away between 20 and 25 people. The avalanche occurred between the popular Khumbu icefall and Camp 1, at around an altitude of 19500 (The Denver Post, 2016). Although the icefall is feared by the high-altitude mountain climbers, climbing on Mount Everest continues to occur every year. Getting to the summit requires the climbers to go through the Khumbu icefall and hence, the lives of the Mountaineers are always threatened. According to the geography of Mount Everest, to get comparatively easy to the South Col, one has to follow a route of ascending Mount Everest. As such, the Khumbu Icefall is irresistible for the most climbers (The Denver Post, 2016). Consequently, since the icefall can break at any moment and it is also unpredictable, the climbers continually die on the mountain (The Denver Post, 2016). The 2014 avalanche made the whole climbing season terrifying as people were worried about losing their lives on the mountain. The earlier deaths on Mount Everest did not exceed 15, and hence, the avalanche of 2014 was the deadliest (Narula, 2014).
In brief, Mount Everest is visited by climbers during spring, the mountain climbing season. Most of the climbers who come to the mountain are interested in getting to the summit. However, some of the climbers do not always achieve their objectives of getting to the summit as icefall accidents often occur on the mountain. The popularly known icefall is the Khumbu, which is deadly and has killed many Sherpas. The location of Khumbu is the easiest way to get to the summit and hence mostly preferred by the climbers. The Sherpas are often the victims of Mount Everest deaths emanating from icefalls as ascend earlier to tie the ropes used by the client climbers.