How Many People Have Died Climbing Mt. Everest?

Ah, Mount Everest! Rising over 29,000 feet above sea level, its summit is the highest point on Earth you can stand on. As such, people from all over the world are flocking to Nepal to do precisely that. Of course, it's a perilous journey. People keep dying on Everest for many, increasingly terrifying reasons. In this punishing environment, everything from avalanches to exposure, mountain sickness, equipment malfunction or plain old falling can kill the aspiring climber. 

What's more, Business Insider notes that the mountain doesn't even have to do anything to kill you — it merely has to exist. When climbers get above 26,247 feet, they venture in the so-called "Death Zone." Here, the oxygen levels are so small that your body simply can't cope. Instead, it starts to slowly break down. Little by little, your brain and lungs are more and more desperate for oxygen, and your body is dying by the minute. As such, heart attacks and strokes abound, and a climber's judgement is likely to become impaired. 

It's a pretty deadly environment, and because people are climbing there in droves, the mountain has ample opportunities to claim the occasional victim. So, how many people have died climbing Mt. Everest? 

Mt. Everest has claimed hundreds of victims

Time has put together a comprehensive chart of people who have braved Mt. Everest at the cost of their lives over the years. As of 2019, out of the 23,917 climbers who have made the attempt only 10,050 have reached the summit — and 291 have died trying. It's worth noting that after 1990, only one in 240 climbers has died on Everest. Before 1990, the figure was one in 50. Still, thanks to the increasing flood of climbers, the mountain is actually claiming more lives these days. The deadliest years on Everest's history so far was in 1996, when 15 people died on the mountain, and 2014, when 16 sherpas died in an icefall. Oh, and 2019? 11 victims, in part thanks to the traffic caused by a record number of mountaineers and relatively few days of good weather.