From 1921 to 2009, it is estimated that about 4,500 people have climbed Mount Everest. In terms of casualties, about 200 have lost their lives. Climbers of Mount Everest have become increasingly controversial in recent years as they pass by other climbers in distress and move ahead to make the climb even after multiple people have died only a few weeks before. The bodies of climbers are usually not recovered due to the extreme conditions to carry out recovery.
Photo credit: http://blogs.trincoll.edu/awettste/
Mt. Everest is one of those mountains that will live on as one of the most sought after accomplishments for most climbers. The first ascent of Mr. Everest was completed by Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and the first solo ascent was accomplished by Reinhold Messner. It is estimated that of the thousands who try to climb, only about half make it up the mountain.
It is important to keep in mind that every year, there are many guides and sherpas that essentially escort those wealthy enough to the top of Everest. Although even with the help of oxygen tanks, guides, and sherpas to carry the gear it is no easy journey. However, because there is so many who “hold your hand” through the climb, it is no longer considered the hardest climb amongst the climbing community. K2 and Annapurna are now considered the hardest due to their high mortality rate, 25% and 40% respectively.
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