The normal summit window on Everest is in early May when the jetstream moves away from the 29,035-foot peak and before the spring monsoons arrive. The best dates for a summit push usually fall around May 10, the exact date of the 1996 summit attempts that left several climbers (both vetrans and novices) dead and were documented by Jon Krakauer in his magazine article Into Thin Air (later expanded into a book), but this year the weather on the mountain has forced a delay and hence the last minute push. Many mountaineers, actual and armchair, deride the current practice of guided ascents of Mt. Everest as too easy ("a golden road to the summit"). There is no doubt, however, that life above 8000 metres can be deadly on Everest. There have been more than 2000 summits of Mt. Everest and there have been 196 deaths. The most common contrast drawn is to the world's second highest mountain, K2 (less than a 1000 feet "shorter" than Everest), the "Savage Mountain" which has hosted only just over 200 humans at it's highest point and has claimed the lives of more than 50. And it's true that so far no one has flown a helicopter to the summit of K2.
The push for the summit of the world's tallest mountain started late this year. In the last 24 hours or so more than 50 people have summited Mount Everest and more summits are expected in the day to come. The climbers still heading up had better hurry as the climbing season on Everest officially ends on Wednesday.