London, May 26 (ANI): Mount Everest has become a treacherous climb due to glaciers melting along its slopes, according to a Nepalese Sherpa who has conquered the world's highest summit 20 times.
Apa, a 49-year-old Sherpa, said that rising temperatures have melted much of the ice on the steep trail to the summit and climbers are struggling to get traction on the exposed rock surface.
The melting ice has also given way to deep crevasses, and experts have warned that climbers risk being swept away by "outburst floods" from rising volumes of glacial waters.
"The rising temperature on the mountains has melted much ice and snow on the trail to the summit. It is difficult for climbers to use their crampons on the rocky surfaces," The Telegraph quoted Apa as saying.
The news comes as an important one especially since the world's highest mountain is increasingly turning out to be a popular tourist attraction, with amateur climbers climbing with the help of experts like Apa.
But experts have warned that many amateur climbers may not be aware of the risks they face in tackling Everest.
A report by scientists at University College London said the Himalayan glaciers are retreating faster than many others around the world, at rates ranging from 10 to 60 meters per year.
The United Nations climate change panel warned in 2007 that the Himalayan glaciers were melting so fast that they would almost completely disappear by 2035.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admitted that the claim was an exaggeration earlier this year, but melting ice in the mountain range remains a source of grave concern.
Professor Steve Edwards, an earth scientist who coauthored the report, said, ""The general trend shows that the Himalayan glaciers as a whole are melting faster than many others. It is probably the fastest rate of melting in the world". (ANI)