Earlier today, ExWeb posted an excellent re-cap of the 2011 Spring Himalaya climbing season, breaking down all the stats and records, while putting it all into perspective for us. They have the scoop on the highs (pun intended!) and lows of another very busy spring in the mountains.
Amongst the stats that may be of interest is the fact that there were, according to ExWeb's count, roughly 680 summits in the Himalaya this year. Of those, about 500 took place on Everest alone. Remember, this is in a year that was said to be quieter than normal. That is a much higher number than what I had been led to believe, but the folks over at Explorers Web are bit more tapped in on those kinds of numbers, so I'm inclined to believe them. The remaining 180 summits were spread out across a variety of peaks, but of the 8000 meter mountains, nine saw successful summits, including Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Annapurna, and Shisha Pangma.
Most of the post is made up of a list of "firsts," which include the first summits on a variety of peaks by climbers from specific nationalities, as well as age records for the youngest and oldest to scale some of these mountains as well.
Finally, the post wraps things up on a solemn note with a run down of the climbers who lost their lives in the Himalaya this spring. That list is always too long, no matter the number on it, and is a sobering reminder of the dangers we all face when going to high altitude.
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