经济学人官方译文 | 登顶珠峰的成功率高于攀登喜马拉雅山脉的其他任何山峰

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Mountaineering
登山
Not so rare air
绝顶易见
Climbers’ success rate on Everest is higher than any other Himalayan peak
登顶珠峰的成功率高于攀登喜马拉雅山脉的其他任何山峰

?BEFORE EDMUND HILLARY and Tenzing Norgay set foot on the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, at least 145 other climbers had tried and failed to reach Earth’s highest point. In 1924 a British team got within 250 metres of the top, but turned back after two members (who may or may not have reached the peak) vanished.
埃德蒙·希拉里(Edmund Hillary)和丹增·诺尔盖(Tenzing Norgay)在1953年踏上珠穆朗玛峰峰顶。在这之前,至少有145名登山者尝试登上这个地球最高点,但都未能成功。1924年,一支英国登山队登至距峰顶不到250米的地方,但在两名队员消失在前方后(未知是否已经登顶),全队掉头下山。

Scaling Everest was scarcely easier afterwards. Excluding guides, just 9% of people making an attempt reached the summit from 1954-83, while 2% died. As climate change thaws the snow, the remains of many of these victims have emerged—including one of the lost climbers from 1924.
在那之后,攀登珠峰的难度几乎没有降低。1954年至1983年间,除向导之外,尝试登顶的人中只有9%成功,死亡率为2%。 随着气候变化,冰雪消融,许多遇难者的遗体重见天日——其中就包括1924年失踪的两名登山者之一。

But since the 1990s, the pinnacle of mountaineering has become accessible. In 1994-2003, 24% of Everest climbers got to the top, double the rate in the previous decade. The share doubled again, to 51%, in 2004-13. In the past three complete climbing seasons, 66% have made it. The first summit attempts of 2019 were made last month.
但自上世纪90年代以来,珠峰已不再遥不可及。1994年至2003年间,24%的登山者成功登顶,是之前十年的两倍。2004年至2013年间,这一比例再次翻番,达到51%。在过去三个完整的登山季中,66%的登山者成功登顶。2019年的首批登顶行动已于上月启动。

Technology accounts for some of these gains. Oxygen tanks deliver twice as much gas as before, and suffer fewer leaks. Suits and gloves made from high-quality down and double-insulated boots keep climbers warmer. And better weather forecasting has minimised unpleasant surprises.
技术进步是登顶成功率上升的原因之一。氧气罐容纳的氧气量是以前的两倍,而且更不容易泄漏。高品质羽绒制成的登山服和手套及双层防寒登山靴更利于登山者保暖。更准确的天气预报最大程度减少了令人不快的意外。

However, these advances help just as much on other peaks. And summit rates elsewhere have risen much less. Among the 13 Himalayan mountains with available records that were climbed by at least 40 people since 2016, Everest’s summit rate was the fourth-lowest before 1994. In the past three years it has been the highest.
然而,这些进步对攀登其他山峰也有同样的帮助,但其他高峰的登顶率上升幅度却小得多。据有效记录显示,自2016年以来,至少有40人攀登过的喜马拉雅山脉高峰有13座,其中珠峰的登顶率在1994年之前是倒数第四,而在过去三年里已升至最高。

Two factors probably account for this trend. First, Sherpas set up ladders and ropes along the entirety of the two most popular Everest routes, which are used by 98% of climbers. This work is perilous—an avalanche killed 16 Sherpas in 2014—but makes the ascent easier for foreigners.
造成这一变化趋势的因素可能有两个。首先,夏尔巴人在两条最受欢迎的珠峰路线上全面铺设了梯子和绳索,98%的登山者都选择走这两条路线。铺设工作非常危险——2014年的一次雪崩造成16名夏尔巴人丧生——但外国人的登山过程变得更容易了。

In addition, the bulk of Everest climbers today hire private firms to bring them up and down alive. In contrast, grizzled daredevils seek harder challenges on other mountains. A few peaks stand out for their difficulty, after adjusting for factors like their height; the season, year and number of guides for each expedition; and how many people have tried to ascend them. Climbers on popular routes benefit from greater infrastructure and know-how.
此外,如今大多数珠峰登山者都会雇用私人公司来保证他们安全地上下山。相比之下,追求冒险的登山老手会选择其他山峰挑战自我。在综合考虑高度、每次登山的季节、年份和向导人数,以及试图登顶的人数等因素之后,一些山峰的攀登难度看起来明显高出一筹。选择受欢迎登山路线的登山者能受益于更完善的基础设施和更丰富的经验技术。

Take Nuptse, whose snow is especially loose and dangerous. Just 8% of its climbers have succeeded, less than half the 19% predicted by a model we built using the factors above. Its victims include Ueli Steck, a renowned alpinist who fell 1km to his death in 2017. Another siren is the Annapurna massif. For every ten people to reach its?three highest summits, three have died trying. The latest perished just early last month.
以努子峰(Nuptse)为例,那里的雪特别松散,十分危险。只有8%的登山者成功登顶,不到我们基于上述因素构建模型预测出的19%登顶率的一半。在努子峰遇难的登山者包括著名登山家乌里·斯特克(Ueli Steck),他于2017年坠滑一千米丧生。另一个令人着迷的危险目标是安纳普尔纳峰群(Annapurna),尝试登顶它最高的三座山峰的人之中有三成人遇难,最近一次遇难事故就发生在上月初。

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