Mount Everest in 2012

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Years in Review Summary
Year Summiters Reference(s)
2012 547 [1]
2013 658 [2]
2014 106 [3]
2015 0 [4]
2016 641 [5]
Everest from Gokyo Ri, 2012
People on the summit in 2012

The Mount Everest climbing season of 2012 included several hundred summitings and the highest fatality total since 1996.[6] 683 climbers from 34 countries attempted to climb the mountain, and 547 people summited.[7] A record was set in May when 234 climbers summitted on a single day.[8] There were 11 deaths, some of which were attributed to overcrowding near the peak.[9]

Mountaineering season[edit]

In addition to an increase in mountaineers compared to previous decades, the success rate for expeditions increased.[10] There was a 56 percent success rate in summit attempts in 2012, compared to 24 percent in 2000. 547 people reached the summit, compared to 72 in 1990 and 145 in 2000.[1]

The difficult decisions made during the climbing season were highlighted by the departure of guiding company Himex from the mountain after concerns about a hanging serac in the Khumbu icefall. Two years later, 16 Nepalese guides were killed when ice broke from the serac and created an avalanche.[11]

In 2012 Montana State University conducted a scientific expedition to Everest. The Everest Education Expedition studied the geology of the Everest massif which includes Everest-Nuptse-Lhotse-Khumbutse, and advanced the state of mineralogy, strain, and predicted rock ages. Of interest was the fossil-bearing limestone that crowns Mount Everest, the nature and impact of ice in the region (such as the icefall), and the overall stratigraphy (including limestone, metamorphic rocks, pelites, and quartzites).[12]

In May, Tamae Watanabe became the oldest woman to reach the summit, at the age of 73. She broke her own record, set in 2002 at the age of 63. The retired office worker lives at the base of Mount Fuji, and had climbed many other peaks including Denali, the Eiger, and Lhotse. She climbed with a group of four, and beat a competing 72-year-old woman who was trying for the same record.[13]

The Guinness Book of World Records states that 234 climbers summited on one day in 2012.[14] However, it was one of the deadliest seasons since 1996, with 11 climbers dying on Everest in the spring.[15]


The death of Canadian climber Shriya Shah-Klorfine in May made headlines and fed a debate about whether inexperienced climbers should climb Mount Everest. Issues of overcrowding and unqualified guides were also raised.[16][17] Although Shah-Klorfine did manage to summit, she did not survive the descent.[17][18] Questions were raised about her lack of previous mountaineering experience, as Everest was reportedly her first mountain climb. The guiding company she employed had reportedly never guided a climber to the summit before.[19] Other factors involved overcrowding on the mountain,[20] a late summit bid, and insufficient bottled oxygen.[21] The company alleges that she ignored instructions to turn around and earlier recommendations to not attempt the climb due to her lack of climbing skills.[22]

Four people, including Shah-Klorfine, died on Saturday May 19, 2012. Conditions on the mountain were described as overcrowded.[23]

2012 fatalities
Deaths[24] Nation[24]
Ralf Dieter Arnold  Germany
Juan Jose Polo Carbayo  Spain
Karsang Namgyal    Nepal
Ramesh Gulave  India
Namgyal Tshering    Nepal
Dawa Tenzing    Nepal
Wen-Yi Ha  China
Dr. Eberhard Schaaf  Germany
Shriya Shah-Klorfine  Canada
Won-Bin Song  South Korea
Milan Sedlacek*  Czech Republic
Temba Sherpa*[25]    Nepal
*Lhotse fatality


  1. ^ a b "Everest Maxed Out". Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Everest 2013: Season Recap: Summits, Records and Fights". Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Everest 2014: Season Summary - A Nepal Tragedy". Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  4. ^ Peter Holley (12 January 2016). "The Washington Post - For the first time in four decades, nobody made it to the top of Mount Everest last year". Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Germany, SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg. "Congestion in the Death Zone: The Story Behind another Deadly Year on Everest - SPIEGEL ONLINE - International". SPIEGEL ONLINE. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  7. ^ "Everest Maxed Out". National Geographic. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  8. ^ Kelly, Jon (2013-05-28). "Everest crowds: The world's highest traffic jam". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ "Everest Maxed Out". Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  11. ^ "Death and Anger on Everest". The New Yorker. 2014-04-21. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  12. ^ "Montana State University - Everest Education Expedition - Scientific Research". Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  13. ^ Julian Ryall (21 May 2012). "73-year-old becomes oldest woman to climb Mount Everest". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Guinness - Highest mountain".
  15. ^ Lukas Eberle. "Congestion in the Death Zone: The Story Behind another Deadly Year on Everest". Der Spiegel.
  16. ^ Grayson Schaffer (24 April 2014). "Five myths about Mount Everest". Washington Post. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  17. ^ a b "Canadian Everest victim used inexperienced company, lacked oxygen". CBC. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  18. ^ Barbara Amiel. "The lure, and the cruelty, of Mount Everest". Macleans. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  19. ^ "More details, and blame, in the death of Canadian Everest victim -". 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  20. ^ "'Save me' last words of Mount Everest climber". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  21. ^ "EXCLUSIVE | Canadian Everest victim used inexperienced company, lacked oxygen". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  22. ^ "More details, and blame, in the death of Canadian Everest victim -". 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  23. ^ "'Save me' last words of Mount Everest climber". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  24. ^ a b "Deaths - Spring 2012". The Himalayan Database. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  25. ^ [3]