Death Zone is that section of Everest where exhaustion, extreme cold, lack of oxygen, and climbing hazards occur quite commonly and contribute to the death toll.
If an injured person is not able to walk any further, he automatically enters into a danger zone as finding rescue by helicopter is generally impractical and even carrying the person off the mountain is very risky. In such condition, if the person dies, he is to be left behind. Therefore, this higher region of Mount Everest is called Death Zone.
While trekking at the higher regions of Mount Everest, climbers certainly spend substantial time within the "death zone" and face significant challenges to survival. There are some common threats that climbers usually face which include:
- Temperatures can dip to very low levels and as temperatures are so low, snow is well-frozen in certain areas. Hence death or injury by slipping and falling can occur.
- High winds at these altitudes on Everest are also a potential threat to climbers.
- The other significant threat to climbers is low atmospheric pressure. The atmospheric pressure at the top of Everest is about a third of sea level pressure, resulting in the availability of only about a third as much oxygen to breathe.