Traffic jams can be a pretty regular affair for daily commuters. Although irritating, it’s definitely not something that surprises us — unless it’s on the world’s highest peak!
Yes, a picture of a serpentine queue on the edge of Mount Everest is going viral and has people stunned. Captured on the final leg of the journey to the peak, the photo shows a long line of trekkers walking along a precarious cliff waiting to fulfil their dreams. The route was clogged as 250-300 people marched in a single-file, reportedly taking up to three hours to summit.
Shared by British mountaineer Nirmal Purja on Instagram, the viral picture garnered a lot of attention not just on the app but across social media platforms.
The picture has also triggered a debate on the environmental effects such a “traffic jam” could have. Most imagine the Everest to be quiet and secluded from civilisation, but this unusual photo shows the stark reality.
It has also sparked concern regarding the safety of such journeys. According to reports, at least seven climbers died on Everest this week, including three Indians.
This seems like some strange visual metaphor for climate change https://t.co/Q7XZ44vfD1
— Dave Krugman (@dave_krugman) May 25, 2019
This is actually heartbreaking to see, there needs to be a limit not just for the beauty and respect of Everest but for the safety of those wanting to do it. https://t.co/23UOJN6t6L
— Carly Rowena (@CarlyRowena) May 25, 2019
Unbelievable! Are we sure this is not PHOTOSHOPPED!!!! Looks Way too dangerous for so many people to be queued up like this on any summit, never mind on Everest.
— albertfothergil (@albertfothergil) May 25, 2019
Looks like people are standing in a queue for Mumbai local. https://t.co/Is7PihKoKA
— Dhruval Mehta (@DhruvalkMehta) May 25, 2019
Good lord! And I thought the 1996 Everest disaster was bad. This is utterly unbelievably stupid. How are all of these people going to make it to the summit before they all have to turn around time? Are they going to just slide down to the Lhotse Face? https://t.co/sfLUwq4gST
— Isabella 🏳️🌈, Loving America’s Ass (@ICF_19XX) May 25, 2019
This image is symbolic of this entire generation of humans.
Standing on the verge of death- one wrong step and you fail (climate change on the left, environment degradation on the right). Still following each other for a “goal” which no one asked for. #MtEverest #climate pic.twitter.com/ygrmfGdoOz
— Snehil Kumar Singh (@snehil0802) May 25, 2019
This is a photo of people in line to summit Mt. Everest. There is something a little bizarre about this. People just have to overrun all the once pristine areas. pic.twitter.com/K0GCMJ9u4Y
— Ellen Bartlett (@ellenruth206) May 25, 2019
This is scary. Look at that queue! What is this adventure tourism that we aren’t prepared for. https://t.co/t8lSrTTg2z
— Tejas Tamhane (@BasantiLuvsDogs) May 25, 2019
Mount Everest is trashed by human tourists. 50 Tons of new trash each year and 26000 tons of human trash(pee & poop) estimated.
Just think if we are capable of damaging Mt Everest, what would be situation at normal places. https://t.co/JlUkbxKyZZ
— Hussain Chaudhry🇵🇰 (@HussainChPAS) May 24, 2019
A traffic jam at Mt Everest! This is insane!! From the highest mountains to the depths of the world’s oceans, humans are wrecking havoc, leaving behind tons of trash that is threatening the ecosystem. #MtEverest #ClimateEmergency #ClimateAction.
Pic credit: Nirmal Purja https://t.co/VuTs9vl61T
— Yoshita Singh (@Yoshita_Singh) May 24, 2019
It used to be a huge achievement but it is now more like a pedestrian accomplishment.
— David Goliath (@DavidGoliath48) May 24, 2019
Wondering how many got that close, saw the risk, and decided to turn back. Imagine That kind of courage! https://t.co/LillL4YH8M
— Quince Mountain (@QuinceMountain) May 24, 2019
“I have had bottlenecks on mountains before but not this many people at such high altitude,” Purja told New York Times. If the weather had turned, he added, “it could’ve been a real disaster.”