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In yesterday’s article, we focussed on how reading editorials can be troublesome when you come across a range of difficult words. To make this task easy, we have started with a series of articles where we highlight the difficult words and put the relevant meaning next to it. Let’s have a look at today’s editorials and difficult words therein.

Mt. Everest: learn from tragedy, tighten safety measures

It’s obvious why so many try to scale (to climb up a steep surface; कठिन चढ़ाई चढ़ना ) Everest — but the safety protocol must be tightened

Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak at 8,848 metres, draws adventurers from all over. But the mountain on the Nepal-China border is fast becoming a dangerous place to visit even for the hardened (having developed a way of dealing with bad experiences; कठोर अनुभवों से सीखना और उनसे निपटने का नतीजा प्राप्त करना ) mountaineer. The inherent risks were this month highlighted with a photograph by Nirmal Purja, a Gorkha ex-soldier. The image, which went viral and altered the manner in which people worldwide imagine what it is to scale Mt. Everest, showed a long queue awaiting a final tilt at the summit, with all the dangers such a wait holds. This season, at least 10 climbers have died or gone missing, including four Indians. Experts have been calling for (publicly ask; सार्वजनिक रूप से पूछना) Nepal to restrict the number of permits. It awarded a record 381 for this spring, each fetching $11,000 (climbing from the Tibet side is more expensive). On Wednesday, 200 climbers ascended (climbed; चढ़े ) the summit (the highest point of a mountain; शिखर / पहाड़ का उच्चतम बिंदु), a new record for a single day. Last year, 807 managed to reach the summit. In 2012, the United Nations estimated that there were more than 26,000 visitors to the Everest region, and this figure has grown manifold (many times; कई गुना ) since then. Nepal officials argue that permits are not issued recklessly, and that jams such as this year’s near the summit are on account of spells of bad weather (a short period of bad weather; खराब मौसम की एक छोटी अवधि ), which result in mountaineers being compelled to summit within a narrow time-frame. Waiting in sub-zero temperatures at the rarefied (with little oxygen;आक्सीजन की कम मात्रा के साथ ) altitude can be fatal — this season’s deaths were mostly due to frostbite (injury to body tissues caused by severe cold; शीतदंश /गंभीर सर्दी के कारण शरीर के ऊतकों में चोट), exhaustion, dehydration and lack of oxygen.

This year’s drama has caught the public imagination, as happened in 1996 when eight persons died in a single day amid an unexpected storm — events of and around that day were the subject of Jon Krakauer’s bestselling book, Into Thin Air. The adventure industry that is built around the human desire to scale the peak has meant many amateurs take up the challenge, confident that support teams and specialised equipment will make up for their lack of adequate mountaineering experience. The fallout (the unpleasant results of an event; नतीजा / किसी घटना का  दुष्परिणाम) is that in case of a disaster not only are some of them unable to manage, but they hold up others, putting them in harm’s way. The commercial operations have led to the Everest being called the world’s highest garbage dump as many climbers discard non-critical gear and fail to clean up the mess. It is unlikely, however, that this season’s tragedies will deter future summiteers, as the hypnotic (a state of an artificially produced state of mind in which a person can be influenced to do things; मन की एक कृत्रिम रूप से निर्मित अवस्था जिसमें किसी व्यक्ति को कुछ चीज़ें करने के लिए प्रभावित किया जा सकता है) lure remains intact. As George Mallory, the English mountaineer who perished in the attempt to scale Everest, reportedly said of its pull, “Because it’s there.” But the authorities must learn from this year’s tragedies and work out an optimum number of climbers and strengthen safety measures.

We hope this article would not only help in understanding editorials while you read them, but it would also help you in enriching and augmenting your word-power. Wishing you all the best for your preparation!

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