How Many People Died on Everest in 1996?

January 14, 2024

The 1996 everest disaster became a media sensation when eight climbers died on the mountain in what was then the deadliest day of climbing on the mountain. The disaster brought the climbing of mount everest into the spotlight and raised questions about the commodification of the peak.

On the night of May 10 in 1996, a storm swept through the peak’s dreaded Death Zone and unleashed hurricane-force winds, snow, and subzero temperatures. More than 30 people were in the area, attempting to summit in conditions too severe for most. Those in the area included climbers from the American-based company Mountain Madness and the British-based Adventure Consultants, as well as a film crew from the IMAX Corporation.

Many of those in the Death Zone were rescued, but not all. Rob Hall, a Mountain Madness guide, was one of those to die. He was descending from the summit when a storm rolled in, trapping him in a crevice and freezing him. Despite several attempts by colleagues to contact him, they never heard back from Hall. Ultimately, Hall died of asphyxiation, with his nose and fingers frozen off, according to ThoughtCo.

A few climbers in the vicinity of Hall survived, including Beck Weathers, a Texas physician who was working on a medical degree at the time of his ascent, and Lene Gammell, a Danish businesswoman who was trying to become the first woman from her country to reach the summit. Those who were left behind, however, died of exposure and lack of oxygen. One of those left behind was Yasuko Namba, a 47-year-old Japanese woman who was attempting to become the oldest woman ever to climb the peak.

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