Beyond the Headlines: A death zone at the top of the world

Mount Everest's climbing season saw 11 deaths, a queue for the summit and rubbish

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The world's highest peak often inspires awe and adventure, but Mount Everest's growing commercialisation was the highlight of this year's climbing season.

Eleven deaths have been recorded on the mountain so far, more than double last year's count.

Some have attributed the deaths to overcrowding on the mountain.

Nepal issued a record 381 permits for foreign climbers and has no plans to scale back licenses despite a two-hour queue for the summit and base camps littered with food waste, discarded gear and empty oxygen tanks.

In this photo made on May 22, 2019, a long queue of mountain climbers line a path on Mount Everest. About half a dozen climbers died on Everest last week most while descending from the congested summit during only a few windows of good weather each May. (Nirmal Purja/@Nimsdai Project Possible via AP)
A long queue of mountain climbers line a path on Mount Everest. AP

Seasoned climbers are frustrated with the pay-to-play system the Nepalese government has adopted which has brought inexperienced and inconsiderate climbers to the top of the world.

This week on Beyond the Headlines, we're joined by Lakpa Rita Sherpa, a seasoned sherpa who has led more than 17 expeditions to the summit and Fatima Deryan, the first Lebanese woman to reach the peak.

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