Every story has a good and a bad side. Climbing Mount Everest also has the one – while most of the time, mountaineers are excited to climb the tallest peak and set records, they also fear being brought by the mountains. Hundreds of people have written their names in the history book of Mount Everest, while some of them have failed and died in the attempt to climb. There are simple to the most devastating mishaps on Mount Everest. So what was the worst Everest incident so far? Have a look below and know them yourself!
What Was The Worst Everest Incident?
The 2015 Everest Avalanche Led By Earthquake is probably one of the worst Everest incidents. This is considered one of the worst accidents ever in Everest, which took the life of seventeen mountaineers. Nepal was hit by a massive earthquake of 7.8 Richter Scale on April 25, 2015, which shook all of the land topography throughout the country.
With the strong shaking of the tectonic plates below Nepal, the Everest region was highly influenced, bringing the wide and large avalanche from above. 17 people lost their lives, while more than 70 climbers were injured due to the incident. Similarly, many mountaineers were left stranded in several camps on Everest.
Out of many mishaps in Everest, the 2014 accident comes as one of the worst Everest incidents in history. On April 18, 2014, sixteen Nepali mountaineers lost their lives to the deadliest avalanche of the century. This is the single deadliest accident in the Himalayas.
The accident happened in the morning at around 6:30 am, which killed the Sherpas, leading to the halt in the expedition in 2014. The avalanche swept sixteen Nepalese Sherpas in the Khumbu Icefall, one of Everest’s most treacherous parts. The expedition of the Sherpas was in process as they were building up the links to transport loads of gear for commercial expedition groups. However, the weather played a bad role, bringing up the debris of heavy snow on Everest. No death records of the foreign climbers were recorded; however, it brought the debate on the risks undertaken by Sherpas.
Later, all the expedition projects were canceled that year as Sherpas boycotted the remainder of the climbing season. In addition, there were several protests regarding Sherpas’ pay issues and treatment.
Other Worst Everest Incidents To Know
Mount Everest is not only the tallest but one of the riskiest mountains to climb. Hundreds of climbers reach the base camp to attempt the summit yearly, but not everyone makes it to the top of the mountain. Many succeed while others fail, and some even lose their lives. You can see the dead bodies lying on the routes to Everest, which now have been a landmark for the mountaineers. Factors like weather and climate condition, high altitude, low oxygen, and thin air are some which lead to the demise of climbers. Here are some of the worst Everest incidents you should know!!
The Storm Incident – 1996
In 1996, eight mountaineers lost their lives on the verge of climbing the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest. The main reason was a strong storm that raised the devastating blizzard, ultimately killing the mountaineers.
The incident happened on May 10, 1996, and all eight mountaineers who were part of the expedition were killed. This was the same day when 33 climbers attempted to reach the top of Everest. Reports cite that the guides forgot to fix the ropes in the elevation, which made the start of the expedition delayed by 2 hours.
George Mallory and Andrew Irvine’s Disappearance – 1924
George Mallory was probably one of the first mountaineers to climb Mount Everest. But it is yet unknown whether he reached the top of Everest. No one knows what happened to him as he never showed up again after the incident of 1924’s Everest Summit Campaign.
George Mallory had previously tried to climb Everest, which he failed, but he was determined to summit the peak. So, he and his friend, Andrew “Sandy” Irvine, tried their luck for the second time on June 8, 1924. After that, they were nowhere to be seen. The last time they were seen was climbing Everest at around 1 p.m. by their friend, Noel Odell.
Mallory’s dead body was later discovered in 1999, after seventy-five years of their climb, while Andrew’s body has never been found. Mallory’s bones were reportedly fractured, probably due to the lethal fall.
David Sharp (Lone Climber) Incident – 2006
It was a dream for David Sharp, a British climber known as a Lone Climber. It was the main reason he attempted to climb Mount Everest in 2006; however, he never returned. The death of David Sharp became one of the most intense controversies in the history of mountaineering in the Himalayas of Nepal.
On May 14, 2006, Sharp was found in a small alcove high on the Northeast Ridge. He climbed alone on the riskiest mountain and donned budget-friendly gear and equipment. It was probably one of the primary reasons for his death. It is mentioned that nearly 40 climbers climbed the peak, passing him, but no one tried to help or revive him. The most fragile situation was that no one reported him missing, and it took days to confirm whose dead body it was.
The 1970 Icefall Tragedy
If you turn the pages of mountaineering history in Mount Everest, you will find that 1970 was the most active year. But it was the same year when the vicious avalanche from Khumbu Icefall swept away six climbers in Everest.
The incident happened on April 5, 1970, when a large avalanche fell into the Icefall and swept the Sherpas from the Ski Expedition. As per reports, nearly 150 mountaineers had to pass through Khumbu Icefall that year, which stopped after one of the worst incidents in Everest.
How Are Mountaineers Rescued From Everest?
There are three trusted rescue methods that anyone can opt for the safe rescue from the Everest region. They are as follows:
Helicopter rescues are the most effective way to rescue mountaineers from Everest. However, it can be costly and might not always be handy because of bad weather situations. Most of the time, helicopters are opted for rescuing dead bodies, injured climbers, and those who have suffered from altitude sickness.
Although helicopter rescues are the easiest way to rescue climbers, they might not always work. As there are several factors like weather conditions, land topography, and cost, they are also hard to operate. But they are also the safest means to bring the injured mountaineers back to safety from Everest.
Sherpas are very strong and have an extensive background in mountaineering with a lot of experience and knowledge about mountains. So if you keep helicopter rescue aside, Sherpas are the most trusted ways to rescue mountaineers from Everest.
They may carry the injured or sick climbers down the mountain on a stretcher or assist them in walking.
A professional guide always gives first-hand support while climbing mountains. They are also experienced mountaineers with extensive knowledge of the Himalayas and can help rescue injured climbers. They can provide medical assistance and help with the equipment and supplies.
There have been numerous worst incidents in Everest through the decades. Almost 310 people have lost their lives till date while attempting the summit. While some climbers’ destinies will take them to the top of the world, some meet with devastating accidents, losing their lives.
In 2023 alone, three dead Sherpas have been recorded due to the massive avalanche from Everest. Several stories and incidents are similar to this one and even more dangerous. We would like to propose that your expedition plan should be aligned with the weather forecast of Everest. Since the weather and climate of the Everest region are unpredictable, it is crucial to remain cautious and prepare with everything you have before embarking on the Everest Expedition.