Climbers have returned to Mt. Everest, undeterred by the back-to-back years of disasters to summit the world's highest mountain.
Climbers have been setting foot on top of the 29,029-foot (8,848-m) mountain almost daily since May 11, according to the Associated Press, taking full advantage of a small window of opportunistic weather that opens each May.
"The window is in between the extreme winds of winter and spring and the frequent clouds, fog and snow of the summer monsoon," AccuWeather Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.
"It is a narrow window, but because of the nature of the climate in southern Asia, every year is the same narrow window."
The consistent weather pattern that unfolds in May allows climbers to effectively plan their endeavors to Mt. Everest.
"Normally, the summit push is in the second week of May, [then] we have to be out of there at the end of May," Daniel Nash, founder and president of Satori Adventures and Expeditions, said.
"Usually, there are three weather windows on a good year, two weather windows for an average year and one for a bad year."
Nash explained that years with one weather window create challenges as all climbers can only make their trek in a narrow span of time.
Prior to this spring, many dreams of reaching the top of the world were dashed by back-to-back disasters.
No one reached the top of Mt. Everest in all of 2015 after a powerful earthquake and resultant avalanche canceled the Spring 2015 climbing season. Heavy snow then halted attempts to climb the mountain in the fall.
In 2014, Nepal's Department of Tourism reported that only one woman and five Sherpas summited Mt. Everest from the country's southern side of the mountain in the wake of a deadly avalanche. In comparison, 539 people summited from the Nepal side in 2013, according to data obtained by professional mountaineer Alan Arnette, who is among the climbers on Mt. Everest this year.
On the northern Chinese Tibet side of Mt. Everest, Arnette stated that 119 people summited in 2013.
While climbing to the top of Mt. Everest has resumed, Nash has noticed a slight change in the demographics and tactics of the climbers utilizing his company to summit Mt. Everest.
When comparing the Mt. Everest expeditions this year to previous years, "The south [Nepal] side has been a little down, but not a lot," Nash said. "Over the last couple of years, there has been an uptick on the north [Tibet] side," Nash said.
"People are taking their chances more with the cold [by climbing the north side] and you do not have to go on the Khumbu Icefall."
"The south side is generally easier," Nash said. However, climbers must trek through the dangerous Khumbu Icefall that was the site of the 2014 avalanche that killed 16 Sherpas.
"[On the north side], there are more exposed areas. You are more exposed to the wind and cold, and are on the edge of more significant drops," Nash said.
Nash also noted that China has become less stringent with permits.
In terms of demographics, no Americans or Canadians signed up with Satori for this year's Mt. Everest expedition.
"I can't think of the last time in eight years when we haven't had an American or Canadian," Nash said. Satori typically has more European than American customers consistently, but "we will have at least one or two Americans or one American and one Canadian."
"It doesn't necessarily mean that it is the result of the disasters," Nash quickly pointed out.
If the previous disasters are to blame for the change in demographics, the mood of the climbers on the mountain has not faltered.
"I haven't seen any more (or less) determination than in any other season from each climber to do their best," Arnette said. "The previous halts to climbing are considered one-off cases (earthquakes and disastrous ice serac, or large chunk of glacial ice, release) by most climbers and Sherpas and not usual seasonal occurrences."
"I don't get the sense that most people feel these events and their associated deaths will become normal events; otherwise, we wouldn't see the large number of climbers and Sherpas returning this year."