Climbers face low oxygen levels in the death zone of Mount Everest, the mountain’s highest point. This makes it difficult for climbers to breathe. The worst thing that can happen to a climber is that their mind cannot function properly without enough oxygen in their body. Climbers can die if they do not make the right decisions at the right time. He must always win this breathtaking battle and be ready to win it to maintain control. This is the power of the dead zone on Mount Everest.
What is the death zone of Mt. Everest?
Above a certain altitude, the human body can no longer function normally. We function best at sea level, where our brains and lungs receive enough oxygen. However, for climbers to reach Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak at 29,029 feet (8,848.86 meters or 5.5 miles) above sea level, they must brave the so-called “zone of death”. This altitude is where the body begins to die minute by minute and cell by cell from lack of oxygen.
At least nine people have died due to recent overcrowding on Everest. Climbers’ brains and lungs lack oxygen in the death zone, their risk of heart attack and stroke increases, and their judgment rapidly declines. On Mount Everest, lack of oxygen is dangerous. According to one climber, it was like “swimming without a life jacket”. At sea level, air contains about 21% oxygen. However, our bodies suffer a lot when climbing to altitudes above 12,000 feet, where oxygen levels are 40% lower.
Why is it called the Death Zone of Mount Everest?
In mountaineering, the death zone refers to the altitude above a certain point where the oxygen pressure is insufficient to sustain human life for a long period of time. This point is often labeled as 8,000 m (26,000 feet, less than 356 millibars of atmospheric pressure).
Extreme cold is another factor that contributes to the terrifying appearance of Mount Everest’s death zone. If a climber makes a mistake with what they are wearing and leaves part of their body exposed, they risk freezing to death, losing limbs, or even freezing to death. There are so many crevasses and cracks in Mount Everest’s death zone that even a small misstep can lead to the death of climbers. To make matters worse, the situation was exacerbated by strong winds on the mountaintop. On the way to Everest Base Camp at Thukla Pass, you can see the memorials of those who have perished on Mount Everest. Around 300 deaths on Mount Everest have been recorded.
The Dangerous Deathzone
The images of bodies on Everest tell a story about all the deaths that have taken place on the mountain, particularly in the Mount Everest Death Zone. Although the photographs of dead bodies on Everest are horrible to look at, they are the ones that teach climbers the critical lesson that they should always remain alert and in a safe position whenever they are on the peak, whether they are ascending or descending.
Climbers need to acclimate to the lack of oxygen. Many health risks occur when oxygen levels decrease. Your heart rate increases up to 140 beats per minute when blood oxygen levels drop below a certain level, increasing the risk of heart attack. Before climbing Mount Everest, climbers must give their bodies time to adapt to the sweltering conditions of the Himalayas. From Everest Base Camp, 17,600 feet higher than almost any mountain in Europe, most expeditions make at least three trips up the hill, each climbing several thousand feet before reaching the summit.
To compensate for the weeks at high altitude, the body produces more hemoglobin, the protein found in red blood cells that helps transport oxygen throughout the body. However, excess hemoglobin can thicken the blood, making it more difficult for blood to circulate throughout the body through the heart. This can lead to a stroke or fluid buildup in your lungs.
A quick check with a stethoscope can detect a clicking sound as the fluid seeping into the lungs vibrates, a sign of a condition called high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) on Everest. Other symptoms include fatigue, feeling like you’re about to choke at night, weakness, and a persistent cough with white, watery, or foamy fluid. Sometimes severe coughing can break or separate ribs. Even while resting, climbers with HAPE still feel short of breath.
Where do the most deaths occur during Everest Climbing?
Most deaths on Mount Everest occur during descent from the summit to the “death zone” at altitudes above 8,000 meters, and high-altitude cerebral edema appears to be associated with an increased risk of death.
How low can your oxygen levels go before you die during Everest Climbing?
This is one of the most researched topics about climbing Everest without supplemental oxygen. To answer the question: “How long can your oxygen levels last before you die during Everest climbing?” The body stops functioning normally when oxygen levels drop below 85%. In most cases, our body contains more than 90% oxygen, which is the ideal condition. Oxygen levels can drop up to 85 to 86 percent when we travel at high altitudes, which is still acceptable. When oxygen levels drop below, problems begin. If oxygen levels fall below 55%, immediate death or loss of consciousness can occur.
Conclusion: What is the Death Zone of Mt. Everest?
For any climber, the Everest expedition is the ultimate destination. The greatest feeling of achievement and success can be felt at this summit. Everyone wants to see the world from an altitude of 8,848 meters. However, only a few adventurous individuals reach Mount Everest and experience the world from above.
Everest has seen waves of climbers around the world since Tenzing and Hillary climbed it in 1953. They all came here to conquer the world’s highest point. About a thousand climbers conquer this peak every year. There are two main ways to reach Mount Everest: two from Tibet and one from Nepal. Each of these options has its own challenges and difficulties. However, the southern Nepal route is the most popular and fastest. Tenzing and Hillary took this route from Nepal, making it the most popular. The journey to Everest takes you to high altitudes and extreme climates. This requires extensive prior climbing experience. In addition, ability, endurance, determination, and hard work are as important as previous experience.