It is undoubtedly a bit risky when you go trekking into the mountains. Naturally, anyone aiming to trek to Everest Base Camp would be curious about the deaths that occur there. You will be going up to the altitude of 5545 meters at Kala Patthar.
Moreover, the weather in the mountains can also be very unpredictable, and you will be exposed to aggressive weather and surroundings for many days. Although the death in the Everest Base Camp is quite rare, there will be times when the tragedy occurs on the life of trekkers.
Everest base camp is safe when compared to summiting or attempting to Everest summit. Mostly, the reported death on Everest is of the climbers and Sherpa, who face adverse climatic conditions.
However, due to the location and altitude of Everest Base Camp, there are still various risks. The most common danger when getting to the lap of the world’s highest peak is Acute Mountain sickness. Out of the 30000 people trekking to Everest
Base Camp, the death rate is about 0.03% (this is the only an estimation).
Altitude sickness is the main cause of deaths among very few deaths that occur in the Everest Base Camp. Another one is the underlying conditions like heart disease, which gets worse by altitude.
When you ascend too fast to the altitude as high as 5545 meters, your body might not get adapted to the amount of oxygen and climate and suffer from various kinds of altitude sickness
. Hence, you should be well aware of the symptoms and proper preventive measures on altitude sickness and get appropriate acclimatization.
Besides, most of the deaths in Everest Base Camp are not reported in the news, so it is tough to conclude the cause of fatalities on the trek exactly.
Deaths Due to Avalanche
In the year 2015, a massive earthquake took place in a beautiful country with majestic mountains, Nepal, where the Everest was also the victim.
The shake caused an avalanche in the Everest region, which destroyed the Hillary Step, which descended from Pumori to the Base Camp. This event caused the death
of a minimum of seventeen people, and thirty-seven were injured.
Misinformation on Everest Base Camp Trek Deaths
Source: Everest Base Camp Trek
There have been many deaths at Everest Base Camp, but these deaths are in a small number. However, there have been many casualties when attempting to the summit of Everest.
You should keep in mind that the Everest expedition and EBC trek are a different thing. Therefore, you should not mistake the deaths during Everest expeditions with the deaths during the EBC trek.
In comparison, the Everest expedition is much more dangerous than the EBC trek. Extensive training in mountaineering institutes is required for that. Also, the enormous financial investment is needed, and the trail to the top of the world is filled with such danger that it might even cost you your life.
EBC Trek Deaths Causes
Source: Everest Trek
Mostly, the deaths in the Everest region are due to the altitude, which includes Acute mountain sickness, High Altitude Cerebral Edema, and Pulmonary Edema.
When you feel as if you are stuck with altitude sickness or similar symptoms occur, you should follow the guide’s instructions, which might advise you to either stay where you are or descend to lower altitudes.
It is essential to follow the guide’s instruction in these cases, as many deaths have occurred when people neglect the guide and keep ascending and only take action when it’s too late.
Thus, you need to ask for a guide’s instruction immediately and not be stubborn and push too hard on yourself. Everest region is well equipped with helicopter operators, so if anyone in your group is unable to move due to the altitude sickness, instantly arrange a helicopter evacuation.
It is recommended to consult a doctor before going on the EBC trip as the number of cases of people dying due to the heart conditions during the trek is not unheard of.
Natural calamities cannot be expected so they cannot be prepared for. You will never know when the mother nature might hit you with the natural disaster like the Gorkha Earthquake 2015. Luckily, these kinds of disasters occur very rarely.
Reducing Risk on an EBC Trek
Source: The New York Times
It is vital to know the difficulty of the Everest Base Camp Trek. It is recommended to get fully aware of the risks that come with trekking to the lap of the world’s highest peak.
With enough preparation, proper clothing, and gear, this trek is quite safe and doable and has minimal risk. Besides, the trails on the EBC trek are wide and smooth with excellent support.
Even though the deaths are very rare on EBC trek, here are some preventive measures to make your trek even safer.
- When picking a trek, select the one appropriate to your experience and fitness level
- Take enough time to prepare and train for the trek
- Be fully aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and its preventive measures
- Make sure you have sufficient travel insurance which includes helicopter rescue when going for EBC trek as accidents might occur anytime
- When choosing a trekking company, pick the one with a track record of safety
- Always consult a doctor before going for trek to make sure your body can handle the trek
- You will get dehydrated quickly in higher altitude so make sure to drink enough water
- It is recommended to avoid meats or uncooked foods
Preventive Measures During the Time of Natural Calamities
- Keep enough charge in your devices or bring backpack charger or solar charger. You will need devices to let your family/friends know about your whereabouts, and you can also use GPS tracker if you get lost.
- Torches and trekking poles will come handy in case you get trapped, or you can also get rid of the snow.
- When you do not have enough energy to shout, whistles will help you to project your voice too long distances.
Despite the risks, Everest Base Camp is a safe trek, and the experience you get is indeed worth it. The death rates are very rare, so with proper knowledge, trekking information, and preventive guidelines, you can avoid misfortune.
Thus, with a little bit of preparation, Everest Base Camp Trek is safe where you will get to experience one of the best adventures in your life.