The Creative Cafe
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The Creative Cafe

Credit: Mountain Climber Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja @nimsdai #ProjectPossible

Summit Fever

The hardest thing about reaching the top of the mountain is getting through the crowd in the ‘death zone.’

It’s a peculiar phenomenon, this obsession with reaching the top against all odds, despite the risk to health and life. But now there’s a twist. People are dying while waiting in line.

Never has ‘Summit Fever’ been more consequential than during the month of May as eleven people have died in nine days on Mount Everest. Crowds continue to form traffic jams near the summit, threatening the lives of more climbers fighting for every breath in the ‘death zone,’ the final push on Everest.

To hear about the crowds is one thing, but to see them is another. The incredible photo above was taken by climber Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja, a former British special forces soldier. He risked his life snapping this instantly famous shot on May 22, 2019. Nearly 300 climbers are in this frame waiting in line for their turn to stand on top of the world.

Credit: Arsgera/Shutterstock

I understand wanting to reach the top of the highest mountain, or summiting the highest peaks on every continent. I appreciate the spirit of mountain climbers and the passion of having big, worthy goals. But until something is done to limit the traffic on Mount Everest, this ‘Summit Fever’ threatens not just your life, but the life of others. #BeSafe #BeSmart #BucketList


Hi, I’m Michael — a passionate dad, story teller, pilot, and volunteer. Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it, tap the wave button below. I value your attention, it means a lot to me and it helps others see the story.



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Michael Kennedy

Michael Kennedy

Pilot / Father / Adventurer / Visual Storyteller / Spartan (AROO!)