Mount Everest is reputed to be the highest mountain in the world, and reaching its pinnacle remains the holy grail of mountaineers. However this desirable place became a home to more than 200 bodies and there are a lot of disturbing effects this deadly mountain can wreak on the mind and body.
The mountain offers seemingly endless options for kicking the bucket, from falling into the abyss to suffocating from lack of oxygen to being smashed by raining boulders. Adventurous climbers continue to try their skills – and luck – in tackling Everest, despite the obvious dangers. Indeed, the living pass the frozen, preserved dead along Everest’s routes so often that many bodies have earned nicknames and serve as trail markers. Here are a few of the more colorful tales, adapted from Altered Dimensions:
The body of “Green boots”, an Indian climber who died in 1996 and is believed to be Tsewang Paljor. The frozen body lies near the cave where all the climbers have to cross to get to the peak of the mountain. Now the body serves as a way point marker telling the climbers how close they are to the summit. The climber met his death once he got separated from the group.
Green Boots has a partner though – David Sharp, who joined him in 2006. English climber stopped in the cave to take a rest but his body froze in place, making him unable to move and continue his way. He might have been saved if the passers by didn’t think he was dead long time already. And only one of the climbers realized David was alive but it was to late to save his life.
The first American woman to reach Everest’s summit without the aid of bottled oxygen was Francys Arsentiev back in 1998. But unfortunately she never made it back to the bottom of the mountain. She was noticed missing by her husband, a fellow climber during the night trek to camp. Despite all the danger he made his way back to find her. On his way he met a team of Uzbek climbers who saw Francys and tried to help her, though had no other choice but to leave when their oxygen became depleted. The next day Francys was found by two climbers exactly where she was left with a husband’s rope and ice axe not far.
The husband’s body was found only next year down the mountain where he faced his death.