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A mountain as grueling as Everest is the last place you’d expect to encounter traffic. But with a single icy path to the mountain’s narrow summit and few days of clear weather to climb, there can be periodic rushes to make it to the top of the world. And under such treacherous conditions, not moving quickly enough can be fatal.

Four climbers were killed Saturday as they mounted the world’s highest summit, 29,035 feet (8,850 meters) above sea level. Favorable weather conditions led to a major scramble as 208 climbers attempted the trek to the top from the last high-altitude camp at 26,246 feet (8,000 meters) – more, it turned out, than the mountain could safey accommodate.

(MORE: The Economics of Everest)

“Climbers had a longer wait for their chance to go up the trail and spent too much time at higher altitude,” Nepali mountaineering official Gyanendra…

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