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Everest Season Begins as Icefall Doctors Fix Ropes

Plus some stats on summits and the cause of deaths on the world's highest peak

The icefall doctors are high altitude climbers who work to fix lines through the treacherous terrain along the Khumbu Icefall. The icefall doctors set a route using ladders and ropes through seracs and over crevasses. The icefall doctors have been making the Khumbu safe since 1997, and this year they are led by Ang Sarki Sherpa. Watch a film on the legendary Sherpas below.

Over the next few weeks, they’ll work to fix a path from base camp to camp two up the normal route, which takes climbers to Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse. From March 1 to the end of May is considered pre-monsoon season, which brings afternoon and evening rain.

Climbing Everest out of China is closed this year, but it’s open from Nepal and up to 300 permits for foreigners have been issued. In 2020, the season was more/less cancelled due to covid-19. For a list of every Canadian who’s climbed Everest see here.

In 2019, a record 382 permits were issued. There were also a lot of deaths in the Himalayas that year, with 11 on Everest and another 10 on other 8,000-metre peaks. Over 870 people summited Everest that spring.

According to the Himalayan Database, by summer 2020 there were 10,271 summits (5,164 members and 5,107 hired) on Everest by all routes by 5,790 different climbers. About 62 per cent of all expeditions put at least one member on the summit. In total, 304 people have died on Everest from 1924 to August 2020, with the the top causes of death from avalanche (77), fall (71), altitude sickness (36) and exposure (26).

Icefall Doctors