ASTONISHING images show more than 200 climbers queuing to reach the summit of Mount Everest yesterday.
Clear weather sparked a busy day with teams of people lining up for hours risking frostbites and being killed on top of the world’s highest mountain.
Hundreds of people attempted to reach the summit from both Nepal and China while one climber Donald Lynn Cash, 55, from Utah, US, lost his life from altitude sickness.
Some mountaineers complained of a similar traffic jam on Sunday with the popularity of the mountain attracting large numbers of unskilled climbers.
More than 4,000 people have reached the summit of Everest since Sir Edmund Hillary and sherpa Tenzing Norgay made the first ascent in 1953, according to the Himalayan Database.
The number of climbers has skyrocketed in recent years because of competition between expedition organisers which has caused costs to plummet, reports NDTV.
Brit Harry Taylor, who was the first person to scale Everest’s northeast ridge in 1988, told The Times that amateur climbers are risking their lives paying ill-equipped expedition operators and corrupt local officials.
Many inexperienced adventurers pay up to £55,000 for a chance to reach the peak – and Taylor fears for the worst if the situation is allowed to continue.
He said: “Everest is a cash cow for them.
“The Nepali government will try to push operators out who have the highest safety standards.”
“Some local operators are so cheap they put huge pressure on the western outfits to cut costs just to remain in the market…
“I fear a cataclysmic disaster if the western operators have to shut up shop due to being pushed out.”
Nearly 300 people have died trying to climb the famous mountain since the first attempt to scale it in 1922.
Since 2010, there have been 73 deaths on Everest and almost 8,000 climbs above base camp.
Melting glaciers are exposing bodies once entombed in ice on the world's highest graveyard.
Today, a new search began for Irish dad-of-one Seamus Lawless, 39, who fell after reaching the top of Everest.
Seamus, from Bray, Co Wicklow, was descending from the summit when he fell from an altitude of 8,300m while in the balcony area near the mountain's summit last Thursday.
The Himalayan Times has reported that a team of nine, led by Irish mountaineer Noel Hanna who was part of Lawless' original expedition, launched a search operation today.
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