Nepal reports that over 300 foreign climbers have already signed up for a chance to climb Mount Everest this year, after last year's spring climbing season was canceled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and more are expected.
The numbers continue to grow, a situation that worries both Nepal and experienced climbers who believe that overcrowding on the mountain and poor preparation by untrained climbers endangers all, citing incidents like the May 2019 traffic jam in the picture above, where climbers had to wait in line for hours to stand on the summit. Many suffered frostbite and other injuries.
Delays are especially serious in the oxygen-poor atmosphere at the summit; most climbers rely on oxygen tanks to keep breathing and delays without replenishment could be serious, even fatal. In 2019, a record eleven climbers died on the mountain.
This year's climbers will face an additional obstacle: They must quarantine for two weeks in a Katmandu hotel before starting.