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Climbers flocking to Mount Everest

Posted: 6:34 PM, May 14, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-14 23:53:49Z
Climbers flocking to Mount Everest

Mount Everest is churning with its usual buzz this May as climbers are once again reaching the summit of the world’s tallest mountain. Earlier this week, nine Sherpa guides became the first climbers to reach the summit in two years.

Following Wednesday’s triumph for the nine locals scaling Everest, six climbers reached the summit Thursday. On Friday, 27 people reached the top of Everest, according to the Katmandu Post.

Hundreds more are poised to summit Everest in the coming days.

The month of May opens a brief window for climbers to reach the top. Typically, the temperature is too low or the winds are too furious for climbers to safely make it to the summit.

Even with May marking the safest month of the year to scale the mountain, making it to the top does not come without risk. There has been at least one death on Everest every year since 1977.

At the beginning of last year’s climbing season, 21 climbers perished from an avalanche associated with a large earthquake that struck Nepal. All expeditions turned around after last year's tragedy. 

In 2014, 16 mountaineers died while scaling one of Everest’s icefalls during an avalanche.

Among those attempting to reach the summit is Adrian Ballinger, who is attempting to reach the summit without using bottled oxygen. Many climbers require bottled oxygen to reach the top at high altitudes.

Ballinger has been documenting his quest to the top on Instagram and Snapchat.

"It's still far too early in the season for a no (oxygen) summit,” Ballinger said on his Instagram account. “What we did do is quickly recover from a really difficult night 48 hours ago at 24,750 feet, wake up at North Col Camp (23,000 feet), carry a load to 7800m (25,600 feet) and continue together to tag 8000 meters (26,200 feet). The wind was cranking and we were the only non-Sherpa up high.”

Ballinger is using a satellite Internet terminal to be able to communicate with those back at sea level.

You can follow his quest here