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Ice Melt Makes Everest Climb More Dangerous: Sherpas

Crampons and ice axes don't bite into rock
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2010 7:42 AM CDT
Ice Melt Makes Everest Climb More Dangerous: Sherpas
Clouds hover above the world's highest peak Mount Everest, left and Mount Lhotse, right, as seen from Syangboche, Nepal, May 19, 2010.   (AP Photo/ Binod Joshi)

(Newser) – Expeditions to Everest are becoming more dangerous, local guides say, because the mountain's snow and ice are melting at an alarming rate. Crampons and ice axes, once essential Everest-scaling equipment, are now hazardous to use. “When there's no ice and only rock, metal objects don't bite into rock, so you tend to slip,” one sherpa tells the BBC. “So when you're up at 8,000m or higher you're having a very awkward climb.”

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If the melting continues at this rate, he predicts, only advanced mountaineers will be able to attempt Everest.
(Read more climate change stories.)

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