Climbers Crowd Mount Everest Despite Deadly Week

Posted May 25th, 2012 at 11:05 am (UTC-5)
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Several climbers are heading for Mount Everest's summit, despite concerns of overcrowding after four deaths last week.

Many are trying to take advantage of what is seen as the last weekend of good weather to reach the 8,850 meter summit.

Officials in Nepal say at least 50 climbers reached the top of the world's highest peak early Friday. Close to 100 others were also on their way to the top of Mount Everest.

Last week, four people died on their way down from the summit as a total of more than 150 people tried to reach the top, raising concerns about overcrowding on the mountain.

Experts say climbers can end up having to wait on Everest, which makes them susceptible to frostbite and oxygen deprivation.

Among the climbers this season was Tamae Watanbe, a 73-year-old from Japan who topped her own record for being the oldest woman ever to scale the world's highest peak.

More than 3,000 people have climbed Everest since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach the summit in 1953. At least 220 people have died attempting to reach the top.