To be able to say you climbed to the top of the world, Mount Everest, was once only for the bravest and most advanced climbers.
This is now not the case with even inexperienced alpinists summiting the mountain.
According to a recent article in PLoS ONE, the climb carries less of a risk nowadays. Only around one percent of people that attempt the hike to the top die. In addition, the success rate of reaching the summit on top of the world is more than twice as high as it has been in the past.
The success rate for all age groups has gone up as well. So even elderly hikers are more likely to summit Everest with one out of every three completing the journey. Twenty years ago, only one out of every eight climbers had a successful ascent.
Prior to 2006, no one in their 70s even attempted to reach the top of Everest for the first time. On the other hand, people in their 70s have an average success rate of 21 percent now.
Between 2010 and 2019, around two-thirds of first-time Everest climbers summited. In the 1990s, less than one third were able to say they made it to the top. The 2020 season, however, has been canceled due to the pandemic.
More than half of all people attempting to climb Mount Everest are over the age of 40.
Mount Everest is located in Asia, along the China and Nepal border. To successfully reach the peak of the mountain, you must first climb 29,029 feet.
But what is the price to make it to the top of the world? The average person pays about $45,000, but some may pay as much as $160,000.
Into Thin Air
The movie and best selling book, ‘Into Thin Air‘, recount the May 1996 disaster, which killed eight climbers on the mountain’s side after a snowstorm blew in. Many climbers died from frostbite, lack of oxygen, or impaired vision related to the storm.
The storm on that day in 1996 was the third-highest recorded number of deaths on Everest in a single day. The Nepal earthquake in April of 2015 holds the record with 21 deaths on that unfortunate day.
[H/T The Economist]