The Deadliest Disasters On Mount Everest

Although Mount Everest's peak may be majestic, it also presents a serious danger to the most experienced of climbers.
Although Mount Everest's peak may be majestic, it also presents a serious danger to the most experienced of climbers.

Climbing Mount Everest and reaching its summit is a coveted dream of many mountaineers. However, many lives have been lost in an attempt to conquer its peak.

5. 1970 Mount Everest Disaster

Six Nepalese Sherpas died on April 5, 1970 when an icefall avalanche claimed their lives. The incident occurred in the Khumbu Icefall between the Everest Base Camp and Camp I. This same icefall was the site of the future 2014 Mount Everest ice avalanche. The Sherpas were assisting the members of the Yuichiro Miura ski Everest expedition in their ascent to the Mount Everest at the time of the disaster.

4. 1974 French Mount Everest Expedition Avalanche

Six climbers died on September 9, 1974, while attempting to climb the West Ridge Direct on Mount Everest. The team encountered a deadly avalanche at around 6,600 meters on the way to the summit that killed them. The deaths of these mountaineers were recorded as the 31st of the 36th deaths on Mount Everest. The majority of the victims were Sherpas.

3. 1996 Mount Everest Disaster

The 1996 Mount Everest disaster is associated with one of the worst seasons for climbing Everest. The disaster happened between 10 and 11 May 1996. A severe weather condition triggered a blizzard that killed eight people unable to escape from it. Further deaths occurred over the season due to extreme weather conditions. The disasters gained wide publicity and made people question the benefits of all Everest expeditions. The victims included members of several large and small teams who were at high altitudes on the mountain. Deaths occurred on both the North Face and the South Col approaches. The unfortunate and dramatic events during the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster received much media attention.

2. 2014 Mount Everest Avalanche

In 2014, disaster struck Mount Everest again. 16 Nepalese guides died in an ice avalanche on April 18, 2014. The collapse of seracs (which are ridges of ice) on Mount Everest’s western spur triggered the disaster. The site of the incident was the same Khumbu Icefall that was previously responsible for the 1970 Mount Everest Disaster. Within a span of two days, thirteen bodies were recovered from the disaster site while the search for the remaining bodies was called off due to the dangers associated with such an operation. The disaster was followed by widespread anger among the Sherpa guides who threatened to protest or strike against the Nepalese government's meager offer of compensation to the victims' families. On April 22, the Sherpas decided to stay away from work for the rest of the year as a mark of respect for those who died.

1. 2015 Mount Everest Avalanche

The deadliest disaster on Mount Everest happened as recently as April 25, 2015. On this fateful day, a powerful earthquake struck Nepal in the afternoon. The jolts of the earthquake set off a massive avalanche from Pumori, a mountain 8 km west of Mount Everest, to the Everest Base Camp. The unprepared mountaineers were taken completely by shock by the avalanche, and at least 22 of them died. At the time of the disaster, 359 climbers were there at the Base Camp, many of whom had returned to attempt climbing Everest after the aborted 2014 season. The avalanche blew away many tents across the Khumbu glacier. 19 bodies of mountaineers were recovered by an Indian Army mountaineering team and a large number of climbers who were stranded at various locations on the mountain were rescued.


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