A couple of days ago I published a Bloomberg View column on ways to reduce deaths – and crowds – on Mount Everest. The two are closely related: too many people on the summit means that climbers are spending too much time in a dangerous, low oxygen environment. Why the crowds? Nepal’s government earns needed fees from climbers, and guides – primarily located out of Nepal – offer high-end, all-inclusive trips to the summit that oftentimes attract unfit climbers.
In any case, a day after the piece ran I received an email from a Dr. Christopher Pizzo who summited Everest in 1981 as part of a medical research mission. I found his points compelling, and so – with his permission – I’m reprinting the email below. So do have a look at my column, and then turn to Dr. Pizzo’s very illuminating thoughts.