As of mid-2011, Mount Everest has claimed the lives of over 216 known mountain climbers. The area above 26,000 feet is called “the Death Zone”, where breathing fresh oxygen from canisters is necessary for all but the most experienced climbers.

The atmospheric pressure is about a third of that at sea level, meaning there is about one third the amount of oxygen to breathe.  The air is so thin recovery of bodies has proven impossible – and for many, Everest is where they take their last breath.

Tensing Norgay and Edmund Hilary on Mount Everest, May 28 1953


Sergei and Francys Arsentiev

“PLEASE don’t leave me,” the dying woman cried.  Two climbers heard the screams of Francys Arsentiev, an American climber who had fallen after succumbing to snow blindness and found herself separated from her husband.

They were in the death zone, they were low on oxygen, and the woman was on the side of a steep cliff; carrying her was not an option; the trip just to get down to her would be a risk of their own lives.

Despite the risks, the two climbers – Ian Woodall and Cathy O’Dowd – climbed down to her and did what they could to give her assistance.

But it was too late.  Ian and Cathy administered oxygen and tended to Fran, but there was nothing they could do. They returned to base camp to seek help and report their findings.

Eight years later the two climbers would return (above). In an attempt to give Francys a makeshift high-altitude burial, they would place an American flag on her body along with a note from her family.

At the time of Francys’ death in 1998, no one knew what had happened to her husband and climbing partner Sergei. He had been climbing with her and had disappeared around the same time; all that had been found were his pick axe and rope.

On the day Francys died, other climbers had last seen Sergei far ahead of Francys on the descent after the two had accidentally become separated.

Sergei & Francys

Looking for his wife, Sergei later backtracked toward the summit despite knowing he did not have enough Oxygen to last. His exposure to the harsh conditions on Everest so far had been all he could handle, and he was beginning to suffer from frostbite. Still, Sergei would not leave his wife behind.

Sergei had made his way back to Francys, and descended toward the cliff she lay on as she screamed for help. Sadly, he fell to his death trying to reach his wife.

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)

Francys Arsentiev before her death; Francys memorial


Green Boots the most famous body on Everest is that of “Green Boots” (real name: Tsewang Paljor), an Indian climber and constable with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. Paljor’s body appeared where it is today on May 10th, 1996.

Tsewang was part of the unfortunate group involved in the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster, the deadliest single disaster in Mt. Everest’s history (update: until 2014’s Everest Avalanche Disaster).

Paljor was part of a three-man group attempting to be the first Indian team to ascend Mt. Everest from the Northeastern route. Unfortunately for the Indian team, their timing couldn’t have been worse: The weather during the 1996 season was extremely volatile; that year would ultimately become one of the deadliest on record for Mount Everest climbers.

When the storm rolled in, visibility dropped to zero and the temperature dropped. Separated from the climbers in his group and suffering from the cold, Paljor found a small cave and huddled inside for protection from the elements.

It would become his final resting place. (below)*

George Mallory of the more storied climbers that met his fate on Everest was George Mallory, a famous English Mountaineer.  In 1924, Mallory fell to his death during a storm while attempting to be the first to reach the summit of Everest. His body was discovered in 1999 during the Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition.

Decades earlier, Chinese climbers had reported seeing a “European body” laying face down on a shelf off the main trail. Given the description and the date of the find, experts had always assumed it was the body of Andrew Irvine.

Irvine was a fellow English Mountaineer who had attempted the ascent of Everest with Mallory, and perished in the same storm. a 1933 Everest expedition climbers found Andrew Irvine’s axe and rope. Because of this it was widely believed to be Irvine’s body discovered by the Chinese. When a body was found during the 1999 search expedition, it was discovered to be that of George Mallory, not Irvine.

Mallory was found face down in a bunch of shale with his arms spread out and up. His skin was in remarkably good condition, but was tanned from 75 years of sun exposure.

After examining the body experts hypothesized that Mallory’s rope had failed, their hypothesis bolstered by the short severed rope found tied around his waist.

He was also found with a golf ball-sized hole in his forehead, indicating Mallory might have suffered blunt force trauma from striking a sharp rock.

Andrew Irvine has never been found.

Video of the Mallory Body Find on Everest:

* morbidity of seeing hundreds of bodies along one’s ascent up Mount Everest is only trumped by the fascination of the levels of preservation of many of the bodies.  Everest temperatures are ideal for preservation; perhaps some of these brave souls will be re-discovered by future generations.

Or maybe not?

The Nepalese consider Mount Everest sacred and do not wish for it to become a graveyard. Parents of some who have perished have asked for the bodies to be left on the mountain, but there is a dilemma as this is against Nepalese law.

As soon as a body can be reached for retrieval, it is and then is brought down for identification and burial. Those too high for retrieval will have stone tombs (also known as “cairns”) constructed around the corpses to shield them from the elements and the view of other climbers.

A few corpses located on shallow ledges were rolled off to be buried in the snow below, away from the trail.

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)


David Sharp was an English mountaineer who attempted ascent in 2005. Sharp was part of an organized expedition, but when the weather turned and the group wanted to head back, he instead attempted to push on by himself. He eventually reached a small cave and stopped for a rest.

He froze in place. As he lay near death below the summit, he was reportedly passed by 40 other climbers heading both directions.

Why did no one stop to help? Coincidentally, David stopped to rest in the same cave as Green Boots; one theory holds the passing climbers might have assumed Sharp was Green Boots.

David was eventually discovered by a group of sherpas from a later expedition. During an ascent they noticed Sharp just off the trail, barely alive and offering responsive moaning when queried. However when the sherpas reached David, he was not coherent, badly frostbitten, and only capable of repeating his name and expedition number.

After giving David some oxygen, the sherpas attempted to help him climb down, but in his condition he was unable to stand under his own power. Realizing Sharp was not going to be able to move, the sherpas pulled David into the sunlight, hoping the sun exposure would provide some warmth.

Below: David Sharp’s memorial and Green Boots’ Cave, where David Sharp was found

The sherpas left David some oxygen and a blanket and quickly retreated to basecamp to report their find. By the time they returned with help, David was dead.The sherpas were heroic in the inclement weather, brave enough to return while others retreated – but it was already too late when they first found him.

Sharp was last seen alive by a documentary crew following double-amputee Mark Inglis during his climb. The crew were had cameras rolling when they approached David, and the footage was used in the resulting documentary (see below).

“Dying for Everest” – a short documentary outlining the David Sharp case including video of Sharp next to Green Boots:


Some die in their sleep, some fall unconscious and freeze, while others (including those who fell or became injured) were left to die slowly of hypothermia.  Until recently, the statistics were nearly one in four climbers dies attempting to reach the summit.

Advancements in technology and experience have led to a better survival rate of climbers. As of 2011 about 1,000 climbers a year attempt to reach the summit, and on average 15-20 perish.

Expeditions are the primary source of income for Nepal, and licenses to ascend start at around $25,000.

If you have lesser experience and want to ascend with an experienced group, several companies will lead you to the top with a team of sherpas starting around $40,000 per person.*

Video clip of a discovered body:

Satellite & Map: here

* May those who have perished on Mount Everest rest in peace. **



    • All I can do is say a prayer for these brave adventure seekers. It’s brave souls like them that pave the way through the wilderness, uncharted lands and in the future perhaps other planets so we can find new places to live. It’s just so sad to see them lying in state. It’s not right. I feel as if I’ve seen something I have no natural right to see and so I’m sorry.

  1. I’m also looking for pictures of rainbow valley. I have looked everywhere for Mt Everest pix from 2006 and on and can’t find any. let me know..Thnx

  2. You don’t walk past someone who is dying.

    I don’t care what you want to tell yourself to alleviate the guilt, the truth is, you don’t disrespect life like that.

    It is not alright or socially acceptable to ignore someone dying.

    • Oh it’s easy to say that sitting at a desk, but it is very literally physically impossible to save someone who has gotten into trouble up there. That is echoed by many who have summited, time and time again. For all intents and purposes, the person in trouble might as well weigh 1000 pounds; when it takes 4 breaths to take every step, there is just nothing you can do to help get someone out of that environment. So, it’s a strong and valiant opinion, but it’s just not based in reality.

    • As a fireman, we are faced with that very choice. We run into burning buildings sacrificing out lives so that others may have a better chance at theirs. We do have the ability/right to determine if a structure is unsound and unsafe to enter. No matter how bad the building looks, we always have remorse for those we cannot save. When asked how many people I have saved in structure fires, I can only hear those screams for help that will haunt me until my time comes. As for these mountaineers who have successfully climbed Everest, I cannot even begin to imagine their pain/remorse they feel for those they had to pass up helping so that they may live. Congrats to those who have returned and may those who will not rest in peace.

      • With greatest respect to you and your amazing work, I do feel that the decisions you are forced to make in the line of your profession is in a very different context to choosing to go with a group of people and place yourself in an area of great potential danger in the pursuit of leisure. I agree with the first post, I could not walk on in the knowledge that someone in my party was about to die, no matter how much I wanted to achieve my individualistic goal. Respect for the lives of others, no matter what poor choices they have made has to come first for me.

        • Then you would be next to the body, accompanying him for eternity. That would be your choice nothing wrong with that…

          • My thoughts exactly. Everyone makes a choice. Even the person dying made the choice to be there, knowing the risk. No doubt that many of the people that died during the same expeditions chose to help their colleagues…and paid with their lives.

        • Would you jump into a hot pot at Yellowstone to save a person that made the poor choice to take a “swim” in a pool of BOILING water? You would want to but, nobody in their right mind would do it. My life first, then, those I can help.

    • Literally every person up there is suffering from hypoxia the entire time. Breathing supplemental oxygen doesn’t make conditions cozy like sea level, it allows climbers to shave a few thousand feet of elevation off the damage their brain cells are experiencing. In those conditions, there are a few possibilities besides “they don’t respect life:” the people who pass by could be experiencing hallucinations, believe they’re experiencing hallucinations, be in a relative state of dementia and unaware of the gravity of the dying person’s condition (especially with all that gear and covering on), simply be too addled to process the situation at all, be willing to help but physically incapable of doing so, think the person is already dead, or, yes, be uncaring and self-interested with an “only the strong survive” mentality.

      But this isn’t like stepping over a suffering person on the street at sea level, with the leisure to rationalize away the slight effort of helping. Above 26,000 feet there is no acclimation – if you or I were put up at even 20,000 feet as we are now, we’d pass out, or hemorrhage, and could possibly die just from standing there. It’s called the Death Zone for a reason: you’re dying a little every second, and operating on bare-bones physical and mental resources, even guides, even Sherpas. And everyone goes up there with that knowledge.

    • I agree with your sentiment but I have suffered hypoxia and you can’t do anything. It is a huge mental and physical effort just to put one foot in front of the other. And that’s not even taking into account the completely hostile environment you also have to traverse.

    • 👍i agree. I have a hard time.with that. And now they post how much it costs to get up there as if tp say well i paid 40000 so i am not turning back to help save anyones life. Sad sad sad and pathetic

    • Who are we to pass judgement of who leaves a life behind. Many skilled men have given there lives to save another leaving behind there own family’s to mourn them because they choose not to leave there side an others that have had to make the hardest decsion in there life an carry on pass them. Until you yourself have been there an brought someone back then I don’t see how you have a right to pass judgement on anyone else. All you can do is quickley get down an alert someone for help..instead of complaining how about donating to the many sherpaz families who work there ass of being porters for next to no pay,or even better volenteer to go up there an clean the tons of trash from there.

  3. I have a deep repect for those who are will to giive up that most precius thing we call life in pursuit of their dreams.

    Without that mentality, we would still be hunter/gatherers!

    May eternity embrace their brave souls.

    • There isn’t a thing wrong with being a hunter-gatherer, and they spent much more of their days facing dangers and risks than you ever do in your comfy living room.

  4. Wow, this puts things into perspective. Hard to believe that 15-20 still die every year with all the fancy equipment and science. Everest is still on my bucket list though. Thanks for putting this together.

    • Putting aside the disgust any normal person would get from reading your comment, you would probably not get any money. It would be hard to retrieve the broken, aged, and/or tattered equipment off the dead bodies, and who in their right mind want to buy used, let alone, used gear from the dead? Well, in terms of what you are specifically saying, REI would definitely not. Also, lugging all that along with your gear as well. Also, you are spending a fortune for the trip there, your own gear, the license to climb, and hopefully the training as well. You are a ridiculous person.

        • It’s not humorous. It’s tasteless and unnecessary. As is your accusation of autism based on a short internet comment!

          • Yeah, it was actually quite obviously dark humor. What is it like to lead such a self-important simple minded black/white humorless existence likely almost entirely devoid of nuance and subtlety? Might as well talk to the cat…

            As far as the subject at hand, the climbers know the risks when they pack their gear at home and begin the journey. And even presuming that a climber were inclined to render assistance, there is the physical impossibility of successfully resolving the situation at hand.

            And as an emergency medicine professional with 25+ years of experience all over the globe—and several years in a coroner’s office before all of that–I can tell you that dark humor is a virtual staple among professionals. The ones without the capacity to appreciate it leave the relevant professions.

  5. its not always ok to do something you love when it can affect other peoples lives like your spouse or your children, its an unnecessary risk and its selfish

    • I agree. Many thrill seekers, risk takers, whatever you want to call them, also endanger the lives of the people who come to their rescue.

  6. I think it’s at least fair to assume, based on the article, that the people who undertake such an endeavor are above average in physical fitness; in other words, they aren’t amateur thrill seekers, but rather skilled or semi-skilled climbers who are well aware of what they are getting themselves into. They believed that they were fit to make the climb, that doesn’t make them dumb. Especially in an instance where it was faulty equipment that served as the impetus for their eventual demise. I can’t speak from experience, but I have to admit that I would have a hard time walking past the dying person. True, I know nothing of the elements up there, but I can’t help but feel like just giving these people a few good shoves down the mountain would have even helped their situation, especially considering that they were basically seen as already dead anyhow. It’s likely a foolish position, but I stand by it.

  7. Great story. I see it as being 50/50. It could serve as a drain for courage, or it could make you want to persist and summit for the fallen.

  8. Pay 40,000 dollars $$; to walk thro a cemetery; that only goes up just to die on a mountain; every 4-5 person dies; and get left where you die as a beacon of ones life was worth; as your ghostly image; you pass countless reminders of why you are where you are; to summit
    the worlds highest graveyard. These familys that lost loved ones; want them just left where they are; Mallory was well known and his family wants him left like that.
    I think they should have a grave detail; either into the ground or as David Sharps Memorial detailed; final resting place of????? Or bag and tag; either a lasting memorial or bring them down; tac on 5000.00 onto the 40K for retrieval; heck set up a burial site down below; you know like a large cemetery; I mean 216 have perished; you know they may have something to talk about in the “here after” or “afterlife”. It just seems Morbid that you litter a beautiful mountain with ornaments of fallen climbers; without giving them a final resting place; like a grave…….Rest in Peace (RIP) Climbers; if I had a million I would give as many of you a proper burial I could…. Sincerely; Daveg

  9. I would put climbing Mt. Everest in the “not a good idea” category. If you pull it off, Naive people will respect your bravery while wiser people will question your motives and be put off by your undeserved inflated ego. My brother jumped off from the roof when we were kids but I wasn’t impressed that he happened to not break his legs. We still considered it foolish.

    • There are plenty of lesser goals of near-equal showiness, if you’re out to impress other people. It seems like in most cases, people who climb Mt. Everest do it to prove it to themselves that they can. It’s more of an obsession than a bragging right.

  10. Cortney, Thank you; very well said. It would be hard to walk by a man or woman in trouble;
    whether it was high on a mountain or a brisk walk down a street; point them down and a few good shoves to a warmer place; A well placed sled for those sick climbers could make all the difference in the world.
    I always felt bad for “GreenBoots”; I am not sure what happened to his climbing partners; I do believe they perished also and just how many people/climbers walked past David Sharp in his hours of need; pack him on a sled and head down. It was said 40 or more people walked by David; when he first started having trouble. Just suspend what you are doing and save a life instead; my god you forty or so people you could have saved a life; just what were you thinking!!! Daveg

    • You’re insistence of seeing the best in people worries me…

      Anyways, It’s been said that you have to practically step over Green boots. But it doesn’t matter, words and blaming won’t bring anything back…

    • All due respect, but you should really read more about the experiences of those who try to climb Everest and especially those who make it as high as David Sharp was. Someone who weighs only 200 pounds would weigh a lot more when you are breathing half, or 1/3 oxygen, and exhausted. From what I’ve read, some climbers did stop to help, and give him oxygen. Some sherpas tried to help him, and try to get him to move, but he was already frozen in his limbs and couldn’t walk. Every time i see this story on the web, there are different details that people who wrote it(not saying that’s the case here), or people who complain about the situation, leave out. Like, how steep the mountain was, the weather, the condition of Sharp when they found him and realized he was in danger, etc…

      And, to sit and comfort someone when every minute you are using up your own oxygen and strength. You are only risking your chances of making it back alive. Sure some did it, but for those who didn’t, let’s not be so quick to judge them. Not to mention, again, the weather conditions, the lack of oxygen, the exhaustion, etc…

    • DS died was when he decided to climb on his own with no radio. So when he didn’t come back from the summit who was on the radios telling all the other climbers to look out for a missing person? No-one. The only people that knew he was up there were down in ABC but with no radio and no idea where DS was on the mountain. He only had support to ABC, He decided to do that, He didn’t bother taking a radio because he knew that his support at ABC had no way of mounting a rescue. He was photographed from afar, alone and pushing for the summit suicidally late the previous day.

      Picture yourself climbing the next morning. Cold, wind and dark; snow rock and ice around you, nothing but an LED head torch, clipped to a rope at the top of a 6,000ft cliff – where is your attention? The rope and your feet or the contents of a nearby cave where some body died?

      May the person with no sin in their life come forward and cast the first stone….. anyone….. ANYONE!

      • A few of ther persons passing by maybe really didn´t see him. And I don´t want to blame anybody. But there´s a video of some persons seeing him alive and passing by to reach the summit. And that´s not ok in my eyes. Although there´s no help for the nealry frozen person, as long as he is still alive i can stay at him for a while to help him, so he/she has not do die alone. I think this would be help enough.

        • You dont know what its like there.

          DS was alive for at least 15 hours after they passed (still alive when they were coming down) – although completely immobile and not even really conscious. You’d sit there for 15 hours to keep him company even though he doesn’t even know you are there????? Sit there for 15 hours and then there is two frozen corpses. 15 minutes and all your fingers and toes are at risk, an hour and you are going to need rescuing yourself.

          Plenty of people stopped “a while to help” but you cant help…. Wait to die too? Wait an hour and then have to get rescued yourself? Thats not helping is it?

          Anyone who goes there knows that if they are high on the mountain and cant move on their own they will almost certainly die.

          Sure there have been some rare examples where the manpower has been there and high rescues have been made but usually its not. All the teams, sherpas and so on are not near enough in the right numbers or are exhausted already or are helping people who CAN be helped.

          I know that sounds harsh but thats the reality.

          Some one is drowning, so another person dives in to help – now there are two people drowning. So three people dive in to help them and now there is five people drowning.

          • Yes you are right. I don´t know how it is there. But although i don´t fully aggree with you. What i want to say is, that in my eyes it is not ok that passing by the person and reach the summit is more important to the people than stay at the dying person, give mental help that he feels he´s not alone (as long as possible without to much own risk) and than go back down. It´s a question of humanity in my eyes. (Sorry if the grammar is not all over correct, english is not my native language)

            • @dirrly… there would be two bodies instead of one. You would accompany him for eternity. It’s your choice nothing wrong with that…

            • Everyone who climb the everest have an obssesion to reach the summit, you cant’t just sit down and comforting a dying person then leave him to die and go back down.

            • Think of it like this bro. On DDay 1944, when your running up the beach and hundreds of men are lying there in their heads knowing they will b dead soon, The other troops are running by to take cover at the sea wall. They know stopping and helping a helpless case would do worse cuz they are dead too . The climbers at Everest and all the other 8,000s are all very aware of the unspoken law of you being on your own in the death zone if you cant make it down on your own 2 feet. Many climbers are ready and consider it mandatory to help a fellow teamate in danger by any means necessary, but will openly admit they wont risk their lives plus their teamates lives for other teamates. This type of climbing is for the wealthy elitists, not many could afford to spend $40,000 on a trip that will probably claim at least a few toes or fingers at best. These wealthy people apply their work ethics to everyday life, amd moral code. This is usually a dog eat dog only the strong survive outlook. Assualting Everest is a person going to war just like any battle in history, same odds of death. Dying and dead bodies are a normal thing to them when all around them they feel death grabbing at them, there isnt the option to help the impossible cases. For the record, They arent animals either. Most people in trouble below the death zone have a good chance at a rescue attempt as long as they are near the fixed ropes

          • Everything about young Mr. Sharp’s actions suggest a suicide bid, to me; from how late he started, ensuring that any rescue attempt would be staved off by the nighttime conditions, to his self imposed radio blackout to the acceptance of his death in his mother’s sole interview.
            I really don’t get the impression that David Sharp intended to come down that hill.

      • God gave us the smarts to see the dangers of this stupid ego gratification. I have sinned many times in my life but also been humiliated by choice in apologies and/or repentance. Pride comes before the fall, to paraphrase God’s word…why would one throw away God’s gift of life so cavalierly by trying this nonsense? Especially when wife is having a baby who needs a (rational) father and financial support…toss the idealism and the conquering notion…we all have bigger responsibilities to our families than to engage in EXPENSIVE deathwish ego gratification. How far toward the baby (the one born to the DEAD man’s wife). Couldn’t that $40,000 USD have gone for the child…but no money brings your pop(sicle) back to life to help raise her…poor wife and child…

        • @KT; Doing something that involves risk does not make it “stupid ego gratification”. Everyone of us humans wants something different in life. I personally love touring on motorcycles. While not nearly as dangerous as Everest, it does have its inherent risks. My dad, a firefighter/paramedic, loves to remind me of these risks. There are many people who say I have a death wish because I ride. You know what? You’re right, I could die. But I refuse to live my life in fear. To me, riding is a huge, fulfilling part of my life. I don’t ride to look cool or to feed my ego. Rather, I ride because of the rush, the feeling of LIFE that God has graced me with, along with a whole slew of other reasons that make riding enjoyable to me. I’m sure the climbers who perished on Everest felt a similar way. To me, and many others, living a life in fear of what MIGHT happen to you, is not living at all. If you feel the opposite, I respect that. I hope you will respect people who vehemently chase their aspirations in life, no matter the dangers. Before judging others, I hope you can try to see things from their perspective.

    • Dave g
      all the members of the green boot died in the same storm, but even if they did not, they couldnt have saved paljor( green boots) he was from a indian mountain police team. and sleds????? to bring body???
      yap at 28000 ft on ledge thats hardly 1 to 2 feet across, bringing some one 2000 feets , onn death zone?

  11. There are many activities that kill. The only difference with Everest is there are no morgue vans to collect the bodies. Imagine if we left all the people who died in car accidents in the streets. Would you drive?

  12. I’m an Infantry Soldier and at the time was in great shape when I tried to summit MT Rainier. I turned around from altitude sickness at (I want to say) just over 11,000 feet (just abobe camp Muir(?)). It’s a good thing I did rather than taking the “macho” way and pushing on. Had I pushed on, I’d have put at least three other people’s lives at risk in a very dangerous place.
    That’s HALF – if that – the altitude of MT Everest so don’t presume to know what you could/would do for these people. Most of you who do would probably quit after the first mile and say “I cant go on” while TRYING to carry loads Infantry guys carry 12 miles. Those loads don’t equate to 115(+) pound climbers. Carrying them two miles down? Yeah right. A strategically placed sled? OK. Think about that for a minute and then go to a local ski resort and watch how much training and effort it takes to lower an injured skier down a ski route.

    • Many people giving opinions here don’t understand because they’ve never been… it’s easy to speak or judge without knowing. I’ve been at above 11k feet. Young and foolish I ran to get to the summit of an inactive volcano, without knowing the lack of oxygen there is at that altitude, can’t imagine 29k. They just don’t know…

      • Or they are just naturally problem solvers, optimistic if uninformed.
        I saw a kid on YouTube propose a slide, like the evac slides that pop out of the side of aircraft, as a method of rescue. All I could tell him was, “Go build that shit, dude. The medical personnel on the mountain would appreciate your efforts if it were successful.”
        You just can’t discourage some people from their desire to save the world, Tox.

  13. Point being, ALL these climbers knew the inherent risks involved. If they didn’t, then they were indeed idiots. If they did, it was a conscious choice to take their chances.
    I knew I didn’t feel right at that attitude and the funny thing was, I got worse on the way back down to Muir.

  14. To those of you who commented on how sad it is that Sharp was left by all those people, go reread the article! It mentions that climbers tried to help him, he couldn’t move on his own! .The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one! Should they really have added 40 to that death count just so he didn’t have to die alone?! Would you expect 40 people to commit suicide just because you might die?While I agree that his death is tragic, as is the rest of those who have perished on the mountain, death is a risk that ALL climbers are WELL aware of before the expedition even begins! Ignorance really is bliss, isn’t it?

    • Yeah. They moved the body later, when they could schedule enough people to go up during optimal weather and time of day. The strategic silliness of expecting a dozen or more people to notice the guy was alive, stop, gather together, forfeit their own chances to summit, formulate a coherent plan, and risk their own lives getting him down, probably getting stuck on the mountain at dark (few people survive a night that high, in case you didn’t know) is just strategically silly. Give Mr Sharp a little credit. He knew what was up, and he took his chances. I don’t think anybody who makes it that high, except maybe Tim Medvetz, expects the world to wipe their butt for them.

      • Well said. I have only climbed 14ers, and cannot imagine having to haul someone virtually lifeless down a non-technical, dry clear trail, let alone a snowy, windy, technical route in a suit much like that of the little brother in A Christmas Story. Let me put it another way, just recently it took 8 climbers 9 hrs to retrieve a dog stranded on Mt Bierstadt. And that was the 2nd attempt! Now double the weight of the injured and double the altitude.

        Why don’t climbers pay even more to climb Everest and pay for a sweep team of Sherpas whose only job is to find injured climbers and either help them down or radio down for help? I am sure it’s been thought of, and probably difficult to implement if at all possible.

    • We risk death because, we simply love climbing, at least, that’s why I did it. I climb anything I can get to. Others (some not all) do it out of greed to get the fame. Course, I’m not famous.

      • So you climbed Everest? Is that what you are saying? Funny nothing shows up in anything online. Not even the town where you live reporting one of their own climbed the highest peak in the world like every other person to climb it lol. The only thing you can find of you is this comment haha

  15. Out of morbid curiosity I would love to see more footage/pictures of the fallen climbers. I’m not sure why more pictures don’t exist… ‘respect’ I guess. I think if I died up there, I would like to be remembered, and even used as a land mark like ‘green boots’. Hell, if you have enough love for mountaineering as these climbers must, I’d imagine that would be a pretty cool way to go/be remembered.

    • There is a new book about the tragedy on K2 in 2008 called Buried In The Sky. I am reading it now. Fascinating. I have read lots on Everest, including Into Thin Air, and this one is right up there with Krakauer’s book.

  16. It is quite sad that people are arguing about people doing what they want! People who want to climb Everest know exactly what risks they are taking on ( to some extent.) It is obviously their ultimate dream to conquer the mountain. They are not forcing us to join them and they are not making us pay for them to follow their dream. At least ” the normal” working tax payer does not have to fund these people,,,,, but by god we are ” obliged “to pay for many that we don’t have any power over.

  17. Does anyone know what happened to David Sharpe’s body? Was it removed?

    Also, how close to the “trail” is Green Boots? I’ve read that climbers have to “step over” Green Boots, but I don’t know if this is literal or figurative.

    How come Green Boots can’t be moved? I’m not being critical, I’m just curious. If people were able to get in and out of the cave to try to aid Sharpe how come, logistically, Green Boots can’t be at least pushed out of view or down the mountain or at least covered up?

    • In the book “Dark Summit: The True Story of Mount Everest’s Most Controversial Season”, the author states that in 2007 Russell Brice arranged for David Sharp’s mother, father and brother to join his expedition to base camp. There he erected a mound for David’s memorial plaque, and gave them a chance to say goodbye, which they did in private. Then, later in the season, Brice had his Sherpas move the body and inter it on the mountain.

      From what I’ve read and watched on video, Green Boots (Tsewang Paljor) is right beside the trail and impossible to miss, but climbers do not necessarily have to step over him because he’s tucked into the alcove somewhat. I’ve never been there however, so I could be wrong. As to why he hasn’t been moved, I can only speculate that it’s because he’s been there so long, and since there was no real controversy over his death, nobody felt obligated to take on the responsibility. Had David Sharp died in relative obscurity, I doubt anyone would have moved him either since it seems to be a monumental and risky task at that altitude.

      One person did express intent to move Green Boots; the controversial climber, Ian Woodall, who had to leave Francys Arsentiev as she was stranded and dying in 1998. He went back in 2007 to cover and move her body for the family, and had originally intended to move both Green Boots and David Sharp as well. However, I’ve since read that while he was able to succeed with Francys, he was not able to move Green Boots, and Brice had already taken care of David.

      Finally, another point worth noting is that many families of Everest victims request their loved ones be left exactly where they died. Perhaps Tsewang’s family did just that, and this is why nobody has disturbed him in all these years.

  18. Liz :
    Finally, another point worth noting is that many families of Everest victims request their loved ones be left exactly where they died. Perhaps Tsewang’s family did just that, and this is why nobody has disturbed him in all these years.

    That is correct but I read on BBC ( that the Nepalese government want the Everest to be cleared of both all the rubbish such as abandoned tents, oxygen bottles etc. that the climbers often leave behind and the dead bodies as far as they can be either removed from the mountain or at least moved out of sight through glacier burials or stone without risking the lifes of the Sherpas who are going to do that gruesome work.
    The reason is that the Nepalese see the Everest as a holy mountain and they do not wish to let it become an open graveyard.

  19. I do suspect that if someone were to finally fulfill a task that they had risked to death in order to complete, their feelings after the task’s completion would reach a point of satisfaction many other human beings rarely experience.

    The promise of this level of satisfaction in itself might make the entire experience seem worthwhile. I don’t have a lot of climbing or mountaineering experience so feel free to totally ignore this post if you feel like my words don’t mean anything, or that my opinion isn’t in any way valid. But my advice to anyone who wishes to climb Everest would be to not only be as fully aware as they could be of the personal risks that they take on when doing so, but to also to be fully aware of how their tragic misfortune on Everest could affect the day to day lives of the people they love.

    I say this because I imagine I would be thinking of these people in my final moments, despite the extreme conditions (although I’ve never been in such a situation before, so its hard to tell: it can’t hurt to be mentally prepared for when these thoughts arrive, if they arrive). It truly looks to me like it would be an irreplaceable journey, awesome stuff. Has anyone on here done it before and, if so, would they say the end result was worth the hardship?

  20. Inglis and his companions could have halted their ascent to assist Sharp. Some 30-40 climbers were just below the cave where Sharp lay, and they could have have worked together to take Sharp down the mountain.

  21. Assuming the wikipedia article is accurate, Lincoln Hall was left behind on the mountain while his group descended to camp (so that they would not all die on the mountain). He was found on the mountain by another group, thankfully, but a rescue team still had to be sent from the camp by his original group. That is what happened in every case listed in the article, but none were as lucky as Hall. Most importantly, none could still walk like Hall could.

    I agree that it would be truly horrible for someone to find a person on the mountain and continue their ascent. However, nothing in the article suggests that this has happened. In every case where the person was spotted, the climbers turned back toward camp to get a rescue team sent out.

  22. Correction: I watched the “Dying for Everest” and it seems the documentary crew did continue their ascent, and some others may have as well. That is terrible.

  23. I’ve thought about the individuals who climb everest and those that have perished on the mountain. My first thought was these people are nuts taking on such a risk but if you truly think about what they are after its very inspiring. These people are living there life the way they want to live, they died attempting something that most of us cannot even begin to comprehend. They are true adventures and I tip my hat to them and there ability to know what they wanted in life and the courage to go for it.

  24. People who have families, young children, wives, sons, and daughters need to think about them before they climb and risk everything. It is a very selfish and narcissistic act to do this and leave them behind. This doesn’t impress me anymore. people raising healthy families does. Try climbing that challenge, Everest is a peice of cake in comparison.

  25. ok people. First of all Nepal is not a wealthy nation, I am not a expert, but I would say that probably alot of them live in poverty. That said Mt. Everest expeditions account for a huger income for the Nepalese people. As far as people wanting to climb mountains, its built into us as humans to explore, and go places that no one has before. Sure man may have no business on the mountain, but thats exactly why he does it, to push himself to places that no one thought possible. How do you think we made it to the moon? Not by saying we have no business there. Most people die of old age, or cancer, or some other form of illness, but to die like this is to truly live.

    • I’ll take old age over suffering from hypothermia in a cave while climbers climb around you and reaffirm the fact that your are utterly hopeless and helpless, but I won’t pretend my choice is any more valid than anyone else.

  26. Good Lord folks, just chill. While I can’t condone people leaving their friends and family to mourn for what seems to some as an ego trip, I try to remember not everyone thinks as I do. There’s nothing wrong with respectful and unheated disagreement. The corpse issue is out of control; that’s an opinion (mine). Recovering the bodies risks lives; that’s a fact. Other than that, leave the heated condemnation behind and rejoice that some people have the choice to take risks like this. Freedom often means the freedom to get yourself killed.

  27. What gives anyone the right to proclaim a place “sacred” and exclude the rest of the human race? We’re just bugs crawling on the surface of this planet. None of us own it.

    That “much older civilization” makes a good living hauling stuff up the mountain for us. Why don’t you go to Nepal or Tibet and explain to them that they’re wrong, since you have so much “respect” for them. From where I’m sitting it looks like you consider them to be mere wayward children who cannot make their own decisions. If it’s “sacred” to them, then how they respect that “sacred mountain” is up to THEM, not you.

    What I cannot accept is the idea of leaving someone alive but in trouble in order to summit. I couldn’t do it. We’re all mortal, so gambling your life can be an acceptable risk. But gambling your humanity is a different matter entirely.

  28. I can’t comprehend how climbers have this attitude that if you see another climber suffering on the mountain, you just have to keep moving. Listening to climbers that have climbed Everest it seems to be less about their own survival and more about the ‘goal’ of reaching the summit. There is a narcissistic streak in most who climb everest. David Sharp was a classic example… 30 people passed him, and many agreed that they had to keep moving on. They later justified their selfish acts as just life and death at the top…Saving a life would top climbing everest a million times.

    • The problem is that even a temporary stop is enough to die. They have limited oxygen and very limited timeframes to do anything and trying to slide a stiff 200lb+ sack down a slippery, steep slope in those conditions is asking to die.

      • not to mention the thousands of dollars that would be wasted if they stopped to help someone and not summit

    • David Sharp took his hands in to his life, decided to try to conquer on his own and paid the ultimate price for it

  29. I sure would rather die up there than on my way home from work…. and its a grave with a killer view.

  30. Ed.. Sharp would have got help, he was misidentified as ‘green boots’ who was an indian climber whose body has been there since 1996. A few descending team did try to help him by giving oxygen, but he was too fatigued to even sit upright and the team was fatigued to carry him to. an ascending team which had a newzealander could have helped him but they chose against it thinking he wouldnt have survived. Also up there in those extreme conditions every man is responsible for himself. Sharp was also not equiped properly.he didnt have proper gloves nd radio.

  31. to the retards calling the climbers and dead bodies on Everest “Stupid”. You should know that Nepal needs the revenue that climbers bring in every year. Its very VERY expensive to climb Everest especially if you need aid to go with you, its about 40,000 dollars per person climbing with aid. They do not go up there with the intent of dying and creating a graveyard. They go up because it is a HUGE undertaking and they have balls made of fucking steel! All you can do is sit at your computer and bad mouth them as if you could do what they have done! That is very disrespectful guys and you should be ashamed of yourselves!

    • If you’ll take the time to actually read about what is going on there you’ll find that many of these “adventurers” don’t really have “balls made of steel” at all. Many wealthy socialites pay their $50K+ to get their saggy butts dragged, yes dragged, to the top by the sherpas. There are indeed some who do it the right way, but there are way too many unprepared, out of shape, bucket listers who are doing this for the wrong reasons. Read “Into Thin Air”. Also, the argument that Nepal needing revenue is justification for rich Americans risking their lives to limb is ridiculous. Ethiopia needs revenue as well – should we line up to go wrestle lions? Probably about the same survival rate.

  32. Isn’t it sad that some people just don’t get it? Clearly most of us know why. They can’t dare to dream or be creative. What is the difference between the Wright Brothers first flight, and the first men in space or on the moon, or a race car driver at Indy or someone who wants to swim a channel or be the first to go around the earth in a balloon or by boat alone? Nothing is different. These are all the people who dare to dream what man can and shall concur in his fears and against the elements. Can you imagine Columbus saying he was too scared to cross the oceans only to find another continent, or Armstrong saying he was too scared to go into space or someone trying to break a land speed record? No, I cannot imagine anyone who dares to go that extra length, that extra mile, that extra second to achieve the unachievable. Where would we be today without these men and women who didn’t have extraordinary courage and fortitude? Simple minds think of simple things and great ones never stop being great. So for those who just don’t get it and never will….go pound sand into dust and for those who strive for that cutting edge, God bless you. We would not be living in the greatest times man has ever known without all those great achievers! The Moral of the story here is, don’t pay attention to those who can’t dare to dream or do what man can…..

  33. Honestly, I don’t understand the name-calling and derogatory comments being exchanged here. It does nothing but diminish any impact your views might have, were they delivered with a tone of respectful disagreement. Nevertheless . . .

    Climbing is big business. As such, it has opened the door to climbers who are inexperienced but are able to come up with the hefty fees required to join an expedition. I am not suggesting that many of those who run the expeditions put money before safety. Indeed, during many climbing seasons, climbers have been forced to forfeit their dream (and their money, since there is no guarantee when you lay out the cash) of summiting – or even setting out for the summit – when those in charge of an expedition have called it off because of unsafe conditions.

    That doesn’t change the fact that the business of climbing has allowed onto Everest climbers who probably shouldn’t be there. But if relative novices can participate (and I’m not saying they shouldn’t, so please don’t attack me for a view I do not hold), then perhaps the numbers allowed during each season should be scaled back.

    It has been strongly suggested, again and again, that the swelling ranks attempting to summit on any given day, days that are few and therefore taken advantage of by all who understand that “today might be our only chance,” are probably upping the danger.

    There are bottlenecks of people who are forced to wait above 26,000 ft. (the “death zone”), often longer than safe. And sometimes, those waits are caused by a climbers who are injured, or who are stalled by fear when faced with, say, climbing across a crevasse: they can’t move forward or back because their fear won’t let them. So others wait, pressing their luck, hoping they won’t be forced to turn back when they are so close to the top.

    And there are fools, climbers who know they shouldn’t be climbing, because they are in less than peak form. Just watch Discovery’s “Everest: Beyond the Limit.” One climber, repeatedly flouts the warnings, pleas, and threats to ban him issued by the expedition leader. The climber climbs while injured. And he does so with less regard for other members of his team, both climbers and Sherpas, than for his need to gratify his ego. Clearly, some here believe he was merely exhibiting “balls of steel.” Perhaps. But the ego gets in the way. He’s lucky he still has those balls. But he’s merely one example. And he’s not the only “type” of climber.

    At the end of the day, I don’t want to take away the right to attempt the fulfillment of a dream. But if a climber’s burning desire to climb, for whatever reason, is to be accommodated, isn’t it reasonable to expect the climber to understand the need for concessions and conditions? If that means fewer climbers or more stringent minimums placed on experience and fitness, so be it. And if that in some way addresses the valid concerns of the Nepalese, all the better.

  34. Amen brotha’!! And if any of the turds actually READ the article and/or know ANYTHING about Everest/Nepal, they would know that Everest expeditions generate MILLIONS of U.S. dollars for the Nepalese people each and every year! That’s right,…MILLIONS!! It has absolutely ZERO to do with respect (or disrespect to be more apropos), and more with BUSINESS. Which the expeditions are from a local standpoint; BUSINESS! If you like to play softball, that’s fine! If you like to scuba dive, that’s fine! Yet if someone climbs a mountain, it’s “disrespect”?!?!

    • Exactly. If Nepalese government did not want the money from the climbers, they could have just closed the sacred mountain. climbers feed Nepalese people and not their gods

    • Very well said my friend! I mean, there are so many religions and cultures around the world which respect the planet Earth and nature and yet, look at how EVERYONE and their dog treats the environment so yeah, nobody is buying the “disrespect” argument.

  35. 1st.- some of the people leaving comments here have got to go back to school to learn how to spell.
    2nd.-every person has the right to do what they want(as long as they don’t hurt someone else)in this world.
    3rd.-if you want to do stupid things,you have every right to do so.there are a lot of people who are very wealthy,but that doesn’t make them knowledgeable,but they can still do what they want based on what they can afford.
    4th.-it is not up to us who don’t climb mountains(the highest i’ve ever been is 16,000 ft up so I can’t say how it feels being at 25,000+ ft high) to condemn those that can spend $25,000 or more,much more to do this. it is every person’s right(at least in the USA) to pursue happiness(whatever form that may take).

  36. just in case,you might want to read about Ed Hillary(a New Zealander)who was the first one to reach the summit of Everest in 1953 and what he thought about leaving people up there to die. It is in Wikipedia.
    I had the luck of meeting George Lowe who went on that expedition with Hillary in 1953.

    • Hillary of all people should have known better than to say that. Either he was senile when he said it, or he’d just forgotten what it’s like above 8000m.

  37. I love some of these comments about people dying doing what they loved. If becoming a human pop sickle is what you love, god speed. For most Everest is just an expensive and more dangerous ticket to Disney World. They pay tens of thousands of $$ to get someone to carry them up the mountain. The problem is, you spend that kind of money you don’t want to turn back without summing even on occasions when common sense would tell you to turn back when conditions aren’t optimal.

  38. I am NOT a thrill seeker & I don’t really get it, but to each is own. I just think it’s crazy to go up there after a certain time in the day knowing that it can be that risky!!! I have a family and wouldn’t take risks like this, so therefore I don’t not understand others that do. I guess I’m boring and just too practical. Maybe it was on their bucket list!!

  39. I don’t get it either. If you pay to make the climb, you are taking an extremely high risk that you are paying $40,000 to go up there to die — and you’re cool with that. Each climber has their own reasons driving them up that mountain and it’s unfair to lump them all into the same “stupid egocentric” category. People risk their lives everyday for the thrill of extreme sport experiences.
    That being said, many of the climbers probably are narcissistic bucket-listers who should not be up there. Whatever. I personally can’t comprehend why people would want to do this if they are not seasoned, passionate climbers, and I still question judgement (sanity) of anyone willing to subject themselves to this experience.
    (p.s. this was submitted from my laptop in the comfort of my home. Sorry I was not typing this comment from my smartphone while repelling down a mountain or free falling from an airplane like the previous badass commenters above).

  40. Yeah but Lincoln’s rescue was different. It is not an apples to apples argument. For one thing Lincoln was not carried down, he was still able to walk. David Sharpe in contrast could not move. And with the density of oxygen being what it is above 8,000 meters, trying carry a 185/lb. person would be like trying carry a 350/lb. person across an ice skating at sea level without falling. The upper summit ridge is knife edge with moderate to difficult mixed rock/ice cramponing, in a spot that is very exposed. No one could have helped Mr. Sharpe except for Mr. Sharpe.

    When I was learning to BASE jump my mentor made me write a letter to my family and friends explaining that I had died BASE jumping and why I chose to do such a semi fly foolish thing. He will give it to the appropriate people should I die on a BASE jump. The bottomline was that he wanted me to understand I was choosing to do something very dangerous and that ultimately my safety and well being came down to my own decision at the end of the day. My well being was in my own hands. This same rationale goes for the dead people on Everest, most of them hopefully knew this before heading up there.

      • I know this will sound “off” to some people, though I will do my best to explain my thoughts clearly.

        I have a daughter who wants to attempt this climb. She has recently battled stomach cancer and is on the upside of the battle (Thank you, God). Although I know that she is nervous of the cancer coming back, she now wants to climb Everest and now is in training to begin her journey towards that goal. I cannot stop her, and given a choice of being terminally ill in a hospital bed or passing away at Everest, both situations involve unimaginable pain and realizing, in the end, that you want to live.

        Our daughter chose a natural healing and recovery to battle her cancer, and with the help of her boyfriend and his family members, it was successful. Without chemo, without surgery. For a number of months I did not know whether I was watching her commit suicide or watching her battle successfully; she got better. Now, after watching documentaries and surfing websites and seeing the inhumane and indignified ways people are treated on that mountain by the climbing companies and by some other climbers, I can say truthfully that as a mother I am having even more nightmares than I can count. For the climbers who were passing away and left to die, each and every one of them begged and pleaded for help, to be saved. I wonder if given the choice again, if they would have realized that the climb was not as important as living. What great gift does getting to the top of this chunk of rock give to anyone other than fulfillment of a selfish wish?

        I do know what it is like to pursue a goal, dangerous ones, and those can be justified by every selfish excuse in the book. I can’t justify what it did to the people who cared about me. Though at no time was there ever the callousness witnessed on Everest in any of my adventures. There is no justifiable reason to do this climb. It may cost hers and those who might try to rescue her. It will cost mine, in one way or the other, as I will not draw my last breath with her body there to be gaucked at, taken pictures of and put on the web, or stepped on. She will have to come down.

        Her potential climb is at least five to seven years away. I am hoping to change her mind. The climb itself is dangerous, though not impossible. Perhaps what has me the most bothered is what happens to the dying, (everyone seems to have a legitimate excuse for not helping, but it boils down to a me first attitude and/or the money spent and better get to the top) People die, and I wonder how much of it is money related, right from the expedition companies to the climbers themselves.

        Why don’t potential climbers think about what they are really doing instead of waiting until the last moments when they are begging to be helped, to be saved, to live and they are passed by or cannot be helped?

        • Josie,
          I can’t even imagine what you are going through. And there’s nothing I can say on top of your incredibly hearfelt and sincere statement here. As a father of two, I just want you to know that someone read your words and has felt your pain as a parent and is keeping you in his thoughts and prayers.

  41. lets be realistic, everyone in this comment section including me is an internet warrior, so you and i can make fun of this all we want, but none of us would make it even a 3rd of the way up this mountain.

    • And who would want to ?!
      I don’t know what to think of people who attempt to climb Everest. Do they have a death wish ?
      I don’t mean to sound nasty but I do not admire anybody who climbs Everest. -To punish your body for absolutely no reason ?!

      To pay $75,000 and then to be wasted at 28,000 feet, die and remain as a pathetic reminder of the silly decision they made to climb Everest. -Bodies of dead climbers to me are like an insult to their families, their bodies exposed to the elements, abandoned, just lying there for all to see. Sad and sheer madness !

      • these climbers lost their lives doing what they love, they knew they could die but they took a chance doing what they loved..something you will never understand…they don’t deserve to be called ”pathetic reminders”….. you shouldn’t insult the people that lost their lives living out their passion……I do not admire you…

        • Everest is littered with human waste and too many people. People that make it a life’s goal to climb it are a joke; bunch of “look at me”, un-original, glory seekers. There are so many unclimbed lines in the Himalaya that are way, way, way harder or more respectable than the “prescribed” climbing found on any Everest trade route. Anything on Laotok group, Makalu, or Manaslu to name a few. Not to mention they carry a completely different level of pride than the silly, fixed rope, siege style expeditions found on Everest. “Most” of the people that are lying up there dead had no business being there in the first place. And the ones that don’t fit that label are the true Alpinists that felt obligated to try and rescue those people after they paid the $65k admission fee.

          So for all you “look at me” I’m going to climb Everest people out there, how about you man up and go some place where there is no expedition “team” supporting you. Just you, a few friends, and a desolate mountain range away from the masses. That’s true alpinism. That’s true risk taking. Or better yet, put up a new route on Everest!

        • Why, exactly is “doing what you love” a redemptive excuse? There are pastors who died due to auto-erotic asphyxiation who “died doing what they loved.”

          • Exactly – “died doing what they loved”…reminds me of my cousin who OD’d on heroin. No biggie, we didn’t mourn his passing but instead celebrated his love of drugs. Goddamn, he loved heroin. Who are we to question it.

  42. WOW! lmao… I feel sorry for the climbers that didn’t make it. But I think they are nuts for trying to do something that is close to impossible. After the 200th death you would think that they would learn. I feel bad for the families who have lost a loved one because of a bad choice to do something so dangerous to atempt, it’s selfish. No matter how “experienced” you are it is just a bad idea to try this. I feel bad that the ones who died may have suffered a while before they died. The fact that so many have died for nothing is sad. Putting yourself in a position where the chance of survival is slim is dumb. It’s like asking for cancer. I hope other climbers make the choice not to attempt this summit. And why is everyone fighting on this thread???? Stop being so nasty to each other.

    • Died for nothing? Sad? I respect your opinion but Jay, do you really have to be such a jerk? Your personality is such that you don’t understand that the risk of death is exhilarating to people attempting to climb Everest; it adds to the challenge. Your mind is incapable of understanding the mindset of an Everest climber, so you rather label them as stupid and protect your ego. Your response is typical of people. When you don’t understand something, you write it off as stupid. Nothing wrong with that but it does make you look like a jerk.

      • Hi, Ryan. -Maybe Jay put it in a sharp way but I agree with him. Joe public does not have to understand or even to judge but the public has a right to an opinion. -If what the climbers have as motive is the exhilarating feeling that they could die then they are fools and have some sort of death wish. Jay is right. They died for nothing, putting their families through misery for absolutely no purpose whatsoever… in fact a very selfish on their part
        Look at that, over 200 bodies up there, “now thawing and polluting the watter the natives drink”

    • They died on a mountain while others die in their bed doing nothing fancy in their lives. Some takes the challenge, some don’t — and latter might not understand the other kind, maybe not even themselves.
      RIP, Zsolt Erőss and Péter Kiss.

  43. I will apologize in advance for leaving my corpse somewhere u may come across. But if u look closely there will be a smile onmy face. Canyonering, snowboarding and mt climbing are what make life interesting. we do it in spite of the risks and not because of it. May each of u who love to experience life in real time and not in your mind find the joy and bliss u desire. Long live the adventurous spirit.

    • “adventure” ?
      I find it as much ‘adventure’ as suicide is adventure.
      In my books an adventure is a very risky act bur with a purpose… not a selfish reason for doing it.
      (I apologize if my English isn’t up to scratch but English is not my mother tongue)

  44. its disgusting that someone who has too much money and greed to just get to the top can walk past a fellow human who is dying.
    i would much prefer to sit at home knowing i had saved someones life than climbed a mountain that an ascent of these days is not an amazing feat of mountaineering skill.being short roped by a sherpa is NOT mountaineering

    • Yeap… 11,260 feet… young and foolish. Ran to see the summit of an inactive volcano and almost passed out, without knowing there was a lack of oxygen at that altitude. Many of this people giving opinion haven’t been at that altitude to understand the risks of recovering a body or helping anyone other than yourself. And the altitude I was in doesn’t compare to 29,000, can’t imagine… RIP for those who didn’t make it. I wouldn’t risk my life that way, I think there are better ways to go.

    • What route are you doing on K2? Abruzzi? The northwest ridge looks pretty sweet. Good luck! Have fun! 😉

  45. I’m not an alpine adventure seeker and know nothing of the sport outside of what I read because of a severe disability and morbid fear of heights. This, along with other stories about Everest and hikes to the summit resulting in death, gives me pause. I am shocked at the callous manner with which the dead are treated not only on the mountain but on the thread. Human beings deserve respect in life and in death. I will never understand leaving anyone behind so I may complete my schedule. Even if I were able, I would not adventure up the mountain only to pass the bodies of people who died and have been left to be made into spectacles.

    • All those that climb this peak have no respect for their own lives, how can they respect anyone else’s. They are all drivin by selfish ambition and many have left their wife and children behind knowing the very high risk of loosing their life.

    • The climbers that came across the bodies are most likely NOT a rescue team…im sure they do what they can but they have to be careful not to put their lives too much at a risk. Or they will end up dying right beside those needing help. They are there to attempt to climb the mountain too. Its a chance they all take and they all know that if they were in the same situation, many will try to help but are less likely to risk ending up in the same situation as the the injured. And if you are REALLY that concerned, learn how to climb and go give a “proper burial” to those that unfortunately perished. Just know that you will probably perish too. They rested in peace doing something they wanted to do.

    • I don’t think you can comprehend how the decision making parts of our brains can be affected. You know that people have eaten people to survive right? It’s true, it’s happened lots of times. Now sitting here at home on my computer, I don’t fancy tucking into a fellow human, and I can’t imagine leaving one to die either.
      HOWEVER, starve me of food and / or oxygen and I’m bound to think differently. These are animal instincts that kick in; more powerful than any rational thinking. I bet that climbers have great respect and love for each other, and I think any stories about dying people being left behind should be seen as fascinating from a psychological angle. But don’t judge them. I bet many are racked with totally undeserved guilt for years. So sad.

  46. I find it fascinating that they leave the deceased up there. Rest in Peace for those who perished trying to accomplish a feat which I would assume most were their dreams. If I was an avid climber trying to reach the pinnacle, I obviously wouldn’t be on here typing, but would probably want to be left up there as well. These photographs are a good reminder of just how brave and fearless these climbers are and we are here at sea level watching sportscenter.

    • They leave them there because the effort to bring them down would endanger many more lives. If it were easy to bring them down, they would. It isn’t, that’s why tehy died up there.

  47. Hypothermia isn’t even close to the most unpleasant way to die. It’s over in a few hours. Dying of dehydration or starvation after being trapped for days would be worse. Severe burns would be worse. Severe trauma that didn’t kill you outright would be worse.

  48. For those of you wondering why there are people that still climb this mountain, even though it’s extremely dangerous and many people have met their death attempting the climb, well the answer is simple. Some have survived the trek and lived to tell about and come back home and live their daily lives. Not everyone gets picked to be on American Idol either, even though millions try out, but some do and make it.

    • must love the stories they tell….” i was descending Everest when i step on a dead body what a fun trip it was!!!!!!!

  49. I have to say that if it were me, I would insist that my body remain esp. if I in the death zone. First to risk others to retrieve my body is not right. However, more importantly, imagine how much we have learned about past humans by the mummys that we have found. For example the ice man in europe gave us lots of information. We have mummys from South America, and obviously the middle east.

    • Yeah, you should probably get we Aboriginal “Americans” views on the tomb raiding that happened in the Andes before you trumpet it as a good or important thing. Anthropologists didn’t find out a whole lot more from those raided graves than we already knew about Inca child sacrifice from lower altitude finds and the Spanish Conquistadors reports.
      Those children should be resting in their graves, not sitting in a museum refrigerator for tourists to gawk at.

  50. With all the advancements in technology I would photoshop myself at the top. Figure save thousands and have a 100% survival.

    • 99.9999% only thing that’s 100% is death. And anyone who considers climbing Everest… Do it without oxygen canisters. Do it without a paid expedition team supporting you… or don’t do it! If you need the “cheats” you get little respect from me. Likely just wanna be able to say, “I climbed Everest”. Leaving your discarded canisters and trash on the face.

  51. You would think with all the bodies popping up, that people would stop climbing that mountain. Obviously they don’t realize that it’s undefeated. The might Mount Everest.

  52. I hope, sometimes a hotel will be built on the Everest, with a big, broad way to go with car up and down. I really loved this.

    And then, this mountain-climbing idiotism had an end. People could go to the everest with their car, rent a good food, and sleep in a wonderful hotel. And these climbers should go to the moon, there are much bigger mountains.

  53. Clueless people. Do you *really* think all those people died on Everest because no one would help them? Really? Do some research. Learn about a subject before getting on an internet forum and making fools of yourselves. In the death zone, you are either (1) able to move on your own, like Lincoln Hall, and thus maybe capable of being rescued or (2) unable to move on your own, like David Sharpe and countless others who died. No one can help you if you can’t move. There isn’t a thing they can do for you. Turn around and go back down instead of continuing to the summit? How does that help you, the victim? Go back down for help? What help?

    • I think you are right. If they are not able to move, there will be no rescue.. but “…There isn’t a thing they can do for you…” is wrong I think.I´m sure it would help to know somebody is there who cares, even if he can´t help to survive. To know you don´t have to die all alone. So maybe the persons shouldn´t continue to the summit and instead stay and help the person in a psychological way. I think the person would be very grateful.

      • “…To know you don’t have to die all alone.” So should someone either ascending or descending burn up all their oxygen and calories to sit with the fallen climber until they kick the bucket? If they do that, how do they get back to camp? You’d have two dead bodies instead of one.

        This situation is similar to confined space rescues. The very last thing a person should do if they see somebody unconscious at the bottom of, say, a compartment on a vessel. Lots of people have acted the hero in this circumstance, only to be overcome by poisonous fumes, leaving two victims instead of one. Similarly, attempting to rescue a victim in the Death Zone on Everest greatly increases the chance that the rescuer becomes a victim as well.

        A true climber understands the risks of what he/she is doing and would not ask other climbers to place themselves at increased risk to their lives to save his/hers.

        • Sorry, meant to say above…The very last thing a person should do if they see somebody unconscious at the bottom of, say, a compartment on a vessel is to attempt a foolheartedly heroic rescue.

  54. i think some of you don’t know where the speek of . That mountain has is own way . on this beautiful mountain succes and dead lies close together . It is a dream to climb him ! This poeple are braver than anyone even can imagine ! Recpect for all these poeple who die there . And you know they did what they really love . And i say always “if the mountain don’t want that you make it , you never will” that is the risk that every climber takes ! I like to take that risk … RIP for al that die there . You are all heroes with a dream .

  55. Shame the nepal gov can’t leave the bodies they reach as I can’t anymore fitting for a mountaineer to be at rest where they fell as as sleep. The remains left may they rest in peace Amen

  56. Have some respect for the fallen people, if you please. If a next of kin sees insensitive comments they will be hurt that much more

      • Like going to space for no reason? Or taking a boat across the ocean to unknown fate for no reason? It is man’s destiny to push the boundaries of capabilities. Many many more people have lived and succeeded at climbing mount Everest than perished. I personally would never do it, but at least I respect those with the strength and the courage to do so.

        • Or perhaps it’s Man’s folly? What is gained for humanity by getting to the summit yet again? No, these climbers are selfish and have more money than sense. They just want the glory, this has nothing to do with destiny at all.

  57. Maybe I am wrong for saying this, but I wish they wouldn’t remove the bodies of those people who’s family wish for them to remain where they died. I understand that its up to the local government and leaving the bodies is against their beliefs, but it just seems like a shame. Exp. the cases where they just roll the body out of sight. I know people will disagree but to me its kind of like taking mummies out of tombs. I just feel like another 100 or 200 years from now people can learn from the bodies.

    • dawn… if they keep the bodies in next couple of years there will be more bodies then snow there.. also, it demoralizes the climbers who see those bodies n plan to go ahead.. Cheers

  58. I’m quite certain that attempting to climb Mt. Everest would be one of the most dangerous human endeavors on Earth considering the inherent hazards. The official recorded height of this deadly Himalayan beauty has been confirmed at 29,035 feet (that’s 5 1/2 miles above sea level in layman’s terms), as such it also happens to be near the cruising altitude of a jetliner and due to the very thin (1/3 of the oxygen found at sea level) and cold (20 to 40 degrees below zero) air, it poses numerous hazards to the human body such as hypothermia, frostbite, high-altitude pulmonary edema (when your lungs begin to fill with fluid due to lack of oxygen), high-altitude cerebral edema (when your brain begins to swell due to lack of oxygen), cardiac arhythmia (irregular heart rate) and acute altitude sickness to name a few. avalanches and crevasses are a few more weapons found in this mountain’s vast and lethal arsenal so watch your step! I do not presume to underestimate Mt. Everest and would definitely prepare for it!!

    • Actually, contrary the wide-spread misknowledge, the percentage of oxygen in inspired air is constant at different altitudes. Just the air pressure is very low and the human lungs can`t cope with it.

  59. I wish I could be an angel with a helicopter and tanks full of oxygen and rescue these poor, scared, frozen people… Such a shame.

  60. The dead climber in the sitting position is Peter Boardman. Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker were two of the most talented alpinists of their era. The pair disappeared high on Everest in 1982 while trying to summit Everest via The Pinnacles, a difficult route that has to this day …never been conquered. In 1992, a team of Kazak climbers discovered Boardman’s body “sitting peacefully” near the base of the Second Pinnacle. They took the photo and never intended it to be publicly released. I’m not sure why it was. Joe Tasker was never seen again.

    • Thanks Nick. I’ve always wondered who was the subject of the photo. He doesn’t look to be sitting peacefully to me, though; to me he looks to be in the mid stages of paradoxical undressing which is not a peaceful thing to witness, so I can’t imagine it being any more peaceful to the person engaged in the action.

  61. You stupidly risk your life and die that is no bodies fault but yours. Doing dumb stunts especially when one has responsibilities, is nuts. All insurance should be void. Only fools do foolish things! I pity none!

  62. Hi Sometimes Interesting. That was a good article facts I never knew and it’s sad. Thank you for liking my poem ‘ The Warning’. Best Wishes, The Foureyed Poet.

  63. Everyone who goes on the mountain knows the rules. The mountain makes them. No referee or umpire. Mallory famously climbed Everest “because it was there”. One of the survivors of his last expedition said “the price of life is death” . What mattered to them was the moments of being alive. Sadly the experience of corpses, announces the futility of life without aspirations, challenge or achievement but also the nobility of taking life on to the full. All those who take on Everest understand that once fallen, dead or alive, in the death zone they become a permanent monument to this noble aspiration. All climbers described above, alive or dead, respected the rules of the mountain and the time for respect and sadness about fellow climbers comes after. I am sure due respect was offered at the appropriate time and place. The death zone is not the right time or place.

  64. Am attempting Everest next year….I know the risk and if I have strength will try to give a burial to green boots.

  65. Does anybody know, why they leave bodies this way? Why nobody covers the dead people with some textile or plastic, why the bodies have been left in so grotesque poses? And as I see, some bodies are like somebody has eaten them and somebody has stolen their boots and clothes. Strange…

    • Many of the bodies are where they fell/slid on the mountainside – the American woman cost 2 Nepalese their lives, who tried to retrieve her body, when they slipped off the ledge to their deaths. Shale rock is unstable in the best cases. Remember when you see photos that look ‘up close’, telephoto lenses were likely used in most cases. The winds whip at hundred miles per hour or more, and the driving snow acts like sand-blasters, eventually wearing away the fabric. If someone falls, it’s possible their hats/goggles/gloves dislodge in the fall, leaving them exposed. For others who become hypothermic and delusional, they may remove their clothes unaware of where they are or what is happening to them…

      For the same cost as climbing Everest, you can fly around the world on a private jet with the National Geographic society, and appreciate life all over the planet. For me, that is a better way to achieve a state of euophoria.

    • grotesque poses?
      people arent exactly pretty as they are dying…

      and you have obviously never tried moving a body that has frozen into position.
      growing up on a farm we had animals die when it was below freezing…. if the animal was small enough it would freeze completely solid like a furry little beefsicle….and it would stick to the ground/snow/ive/whatever and you would have to hack it into pieces to move it, or wait until it started to thaw…

  66. When I was a sixteen-year-old idiot (I’m now a 68-year-old one) I attempted to climb one of Chamonix’s aiguilles and found it impossible. Later, I learned it had been climbed by Mallory using no aids—-“free-climbed” in other words. Losing interest in alpineering (and gaining immense respect for mountaineers), I turned my meager abilities to oceanic sailing—and that’s why I’m probably still alive (sorta) today!

  67. Thanks for such an interesting article. Have to say, I am quite disturbed by these images and the story. There is something terrible in these unfortunate people frozen in the places where they died – grim human monuments to past tragedies.

    It’s horrible for me to imagine having to leave a dying person to freeze to death high on a mountain, but as numerous commenters have pointed out, there isn’t any choice if you want to stay alive yourself.

    I’m trying to work out why this bothers me so much. I suppose, over the course of 50 years, we might expect there to be numerous fatal accidents on a busy road. Imagine if the bodies of these people were not removed, but remained where they had fallen. It would present a horrible sight to anyone driving along the road, and would spark lots of calls for road safety to be improved. This doesn’t really seem to be an option for the top of Everest given the extreme environment, so it’s an insoluable problem, which is very unsatisfying.

    Is anyone to blame? I don’t really think so. It seems as though the dead on Everest are just a very troubling artifact of the Everest phenomenon. Climbers’ personal drive to reach the summit, the time and expense that mountaineering companies put into getting people on and off the mountain safely for large sums of money, Nepal’s need for tourist dollars,and the global popularity of the ‘Everest’ brand put lots of people into a very dangerous environment. These tragedies seem inevitable under the circumstances.

  68. I find it amusing that those who sit behind a computer think they have any right to judge anyone for what they choose to do.

    They’re sitting on their couch eating doritos and playing on the computer while those they judge are actually living life.

    Bless these souls who perished but they died doing what they loved.
    Everything you do in life has risks but these people truly lived their lives, doing what they wanted to do. Challenging their minds and bodies. Attempting something so awesome. Some make it and some don’t but at least they tried.

    I would much rather die doing something I love than to sit home afraid to go out and actually live this life I was blessed with.
    To do that would truly be a wasted life.

    God bless all of you who take risks and live your lives the way you want to.

    • I dont want to argue but I find it amusing that you can come on here and judge people by how they choose to live their lives. Whether they choose to die climbing Mountains or by sitting at home then its their choice.
      I found this article really affected me. I am not a brave mountaineer or an adventurous individual but I read this article and found it both heartbreaking and inspiring. I would like to think that everyone who found this article, felt a renewed respect for life and death. If anyone made any judgements it would be a reflection of their lives… regardless of how they choose to live them.

    • I find it amusing that selfish “thrill seekers” assume that someone that has enough sense to realize this is a foolish gamble with life are lazy. Just because people don’t risk death for fun does no mean they sit behind a computer and eat Doritos. People that do this find some romance in death. There is nothing pretty about it. These people didn’t die for nothing. They died for themselves. And unless they didn’t have families and people who love them. It is a selfish and pointless act. There is nothing to be gained up there. It’s ice snow and rock and a beautiful view. There are a lot of things in this precious life we have that are exhilarating. I’m sure dying on a mountain is not one of them. These people died scared and alone and sad. If you want to die for something. Give your life to help someone who values their life. Give your heart and organs to someone who desperately wants to live another day, another moment. To see their children grow up. Don’t die for yourself on an icy rock because you think it’s romantic and exhilarating.

  69. i dont see any problem climbing mountains, see, pple board a plane and they go for vacations, others crash somewhere, would you say that because some plane crashed and killed many that u wouldn’t fly?….for me No!….i would continue to do what i love and enjoy most! at some point, we will all lay to Rest….RIP my fellow Climbers…

  70. Let’s make it clear for those who are inexperienced. If a person is found on the mountain alive but unable to move under their own power they are not left behind because of a schedule. They are left behind because it is impossible to save them. It is deadly to stop moving, and the passes are treacherous just lugging your own weight let alone a soon to be dead body. Why make two or three bodies when there would be one? People climb Everest with the knowledge that they may not come back. Its punishing treacherous terrain. The most respect we can give is to stop criticizing their decision to climb. We do what we see fit with our lives. One may think how you choose to live your life is a foolish waste, but it is your life and you may live it as you please. So please show the same respect you would like from others,

  71. Rest in peace all those who lost their lives on Everest. The end result of life is but one, death. I cannot see it better to die in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, nor can I see it better to die of a terrible long painful illness, nor do I think it better to die of old age, or become a person who is for years in a hospital unable to move, to speak. Death sucks, but it will come to us all. I can only hope, that these people who choose to undertake such a dangerous adventure enjoyed life to the fullest and died with no regrets. In the end it is not for us to tell others how to live nor how to die.

    • I am feeling very sad and upset for last couple of days. A young climber from my country died few days ago. Right now he is the last person in wiki everest dead list. I didnt know him. Neither I am a fan of this type of adventure. That guy left a two years old son and wife. His happy facebook photos with his son and wife is haunting me. The dead body is still up there. I felt the horror when I realize after googling that there will be
      no decomposition. Dead climbers are trapped there for ever.

      • Khalid hossain Sajal ( from bangladesh Died this year, he was a close friend of mine, he ascended 8000 mtr peaks before, i knew him very well and knew it was his dream to go to everest. he tried once in 2011 but had to turn back from the fourth camp because of bad weather, the bangladeshi govt had set up a strong team of 16 sherpas to bring his body back from the south summit( 8500 mtrs) . but as usual it is close to impossible to bring the body back through the carnice and the balcony to the the 4th camp, then again they ( sherpas) have to bring the body back all the way to the base camp where helicopters can reach. in the mountains if you cant move you will die no matter whatever is tried by how many men. especially at the death zone above 8000 mtrs. and for everest , you have te spend the longest time in that zone, compared to any other mountains, even the savage K2. like sergy , who tried to save his wife( he was brave to the power infinity, and cant deny his love for wife) the rescuers often them selves succumb to injuries HAPE or HACE and die. its not a choice to let the bodies remain there rather inability to bring them down. and as for why risk it? ( because it is there – G. mallory )

  72. I think that all those people who attempt to climb Everest are aware that they are risking their lives but they are apparently prepared to take that risk.This is entirely their affair.What I wonder about is how do the successful summetirs
    cope with what must be a pretty devastating sense of ANTI-CLIMAX when they are obliged to return to the everyday mundane lives that most of us live

    • I’ve always wondered that, too, Albert: Are there any studies about post summit depression, or similar conditions?

  73. Anyone who makes an ill comment towards those who died on Everest trying to make the summit, or having made the summit, trying to get back down, it is clear by your comments of incomprehension that you could never understand the motivations of someone who would want to challenge themselves to see the world in a way most in their lives never even dream of seeing it. You make a claim that you understand it, but your words deceive you because in fact they state you do not. I skydive, scuba dive, whitewater kayak, rock climb, and drive super fast car for fun. Each of these things can and will end my life just as quickly as a summit of Everest would. The difference between those of us that challenge ourselves and you is exactly that; we don’t accept the mundane everyday lives that are thrust upon us by society, you do. And that, is the precise reason why you will never understand us, or our motivations.

    • Wow, just…WOW.
      I’ve run into arrogance in my lifetime, largely in relation to my extra-curricular activities, but none of those encounters had quite the ignorance behind the arrogance that this comment does.
      I take it you’ve never considered the alternatives like, perhaps, that not everyone has to sit around measuring their dick in order to feel fulfilled in this life?
      Signed: A retired pro surfer and record holding female 0-60 second setter who didn’t engage either of these activities in order to feel that I am better than anyone else.

  74. I am afraid that you have either mis-understood me or I have not expressed myself clearly enough. The thing that really interests me is how do these very courageous mountaineers who succeed in reaching the summit of Everest cope with returning to their everyday lives after such an incredible feat and the emotional high that this brings. The thing that also interests me is the feelings of those loved ones that are left behind when a climber tragically loses his life. As for your rather personal comments about me let me justsay that there are all sorts of risks in life.

    I myself am a professional classical concert-pianist and I can assure you that every time I step onto the stage to face 1000 people who have paid to hear me play perfectly and superbly not to mention the professional music-critics in the audience I am risking, not my physical life perhaps, but my professional life, my career,my self-esteem and my livelihood. This is by no means a mundane life.

  75. Nick Rose :
    The dead climber in the sitting position is Peter Boardman. Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker were two of the most talented alpinists of their era. The pair disappeared high on Everest in 1982 while trying to summit Everest via The Pinnacles, a difficult route that has to this day …never been conquered. In 1992, a team of Kazak climbers discovered Boardman’s body “sitting peacefully” near the base of the Second Pinnacle. They took the photo and never intended it to be publicly released. I’m not sure why it was. Joe Tasker was never seen again.

    That is not Peter Boardman. The photo was taken by Neal Beidleman in 1996 and appeared on the back of the dust jacket of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air (1997 UK edition published by Macmillan). Beidleman was a guide on Scott Fischer’s Mountain Madness team. I don’t know the identity of the climber but it is definitely *not* Boardman – Beidleman went nowhere near the NE ridge where Boardman’s body lies. In addition, the clothing and the position and appearance of the body do not match published accounts.

    (Also, the complete North East Ridge route was climbed by a large Japanese expedition in 1995.)

    • I have seen the picture before, It is the body of Hannelore Schmatz a German Mountaineer died of exhaustion on October 2, 1979 near Camp IV, in 1984 one Nepalese police officer with a sherpa died trying to recover the dead body, but wind blew the body down into the Rainbow Valley which is full of dead bodies still with their multicolored jackets and gears.

      • Thank you for the reply Seth. In my search for the origin of that photo I haven’t seen any compelling evidence as to the identity of the climber.

      • Hi Seth,
        are you sure?
        Reading Arne Næss, Jr. about how he describes Hannelore’s body: “…she sits leaning against her pack, as if taking a short break. A woman with her eyes wide open and her hair waving in each gust of wind……”.
        In this photo, no backpack, no hairs.
        Moreover it seems more a male body than a female.
        Please let me know.

  76. Khalid hossain Sajal ( from bangladesh Died this year, he was a close friend of mine, he ascended 8000 mtr peaks before, i knew him very well and knew it was his dream to go to everest. he tried once in 2011 but had to turn back from the fourth camp because of bad weather, the bangladeshi govt had set up a strong team of 16 sherpas to bring his body back from the south summit( 8500 mtrs) . but as usual it is close to impossible to bring the body back through the carnice and the balcony to the the 4th camp, then again they ( sherpas) have to bring the body back all the way to the base camp where helicopters can reach. in the mountains if you cant move you will die no matter whatever is tried by how many men. especially at the death zone above 8000 mtrs. and for everest , you have te spend the longest time in that zone, compared to any other mountains, even the savage K2. like sergy , who tried to save his wife( he was brave to the power infinity, and cant deny his love for wife) the rescuers often them selves succumb to injuries HAPE or HACE and die. its not a choice to let the bodies remain there rather inability to bring them down. and as for why risk it? ( because it is there – G. mallory )

  77. It seems to me that those people who are shocked that the bodies of those who died on Everest are left simply do not understand or are wililng to accept that,tragically, it is simply IMPOSSIBLE to rescue those in trouble or retrieve the bodies of those who have perished. Attempting to do so only risks the lives of more people. Those who attempt the climb know this and apparently accept this. It’s the contract that one has with the mountain. I understand that some people cannot accept this and some people disapprove and some people cannot understand why people would put their lives on the line in this manner.I admit that for me it is a bit of a mystery, but then life has many mysteries doesn’t it?

  78. Without wishing to offend anyone who has opinions on this, as we are all entitled to our opinions; I wish was wired up to have the drive in me to attempt to climb Everest, but I don’t. It would be interesting to know how many people who leave negative comments about these people are smokers…. or indulge in alcohol. Maybe I’m wrong but I think there’s an addictive element in everyone – to these (professional climbers) perhaps it’s the same as a cigarette or a glass of wine to some. Smokers take the risk of bringing on an early death everytime they spark-up (I’m a smoker and indulge in the wine) and know there is a risk. What’s the difference? The difference is that the people trying to achieve that goal are better than I am. Families who lose their loved ones in these situations are of the same mindset, and accept the make-up and ambitions and insatiable drive that these people have. They all have my admiration.

  79. Its getting to the top of something knowing people that had dying doing it that would drive me to, then again im one of those people who understands that you cant understand something until you’ve done it for yourself and experience the mindset you are in as you climb, if you make it or not. I think people here are thinking of the end result being a story to tell your friends because that’s what society is filled with people who want to brag about what they’ve done, Instead of gain a deeper feeling for themselves a sort of accomplishment like that would be something you could look back on at all your hardships and say “I climbed a mountain that people died doing I can make it threw this day” True climbers do it because the thrill of never being able to describe what it must feel like to be on top of Mt. E to someone who hasn’t done it. To say what they love is stupid because you don’t understand it because you’ve never done it and you never will because you constantly search for reason why not to do things that would no doubt change how you view hardships.

    • Good question, I wondered that too, then I found out that the altitude is actually so high up in the death zone that it is impossible for helicopters to make it up there

        • To elaborate on this; the fulton system weighs a few kilos at most and should be made a mandatory part of every climber’s kit. As well as this a mandatory fee should be levied to each climber to pay for a rescue should one be required (For example, say one in fifty climbers gets into trouble and needs rescue/dies, and rescue/recovery costs $50,000. Every climber should be taxed $1000) every climber will then be safe with the knowledge that if they get into trouble their rescue is paid for, an insurance policy of sorts.
          Rather than being left up to die like sharp, all they need to do is radio and pop a balloon and a plane will reel them to safety within an hour.

          • So, you have to be very rich in order to climb, and there is no risk of death? Most of the people that try the climb understand that they very well may die. That is exactly WHY most people try to climb those peaks.

            • You do realise it costs at least $35k to summit, right? Most likely more like $60k+. Only very rich people do it now, and extra $1k won’t make much difference.

          • Few kilos! 😀 You never tried to conquer anything above 6.000 meters did you? Every gram makes a huge difference to say the least. You would kill lot of the people by just this unnecessary equipment for 98% of them. And as far as I was able to find info about the kit it says “The four hundred pound ground package…” I don’t even mention that helicopter rescue is out of the question because it is ALMOST impossible to fly in this attitude, definitely extremely dangerous for anyone to try, and majority of fatalities are in night or storms, when airlift is again out of question.

        • rescue by helicopter is a even more riskier mission to the pilot than the climber himself. and as for Fulton skyhook system, one should think if it is kinda impossible or extremely risky for a helicopter to fly because of very poor visibility, extreme mountainous landscape and strong winds, planes flying near for rescue is out of question..

        • First, only 2 helicopters can reach that attitude, second, to have a team of pilots in there, hey must be in the base camp, so then the costs and the possibility to have pilots in there is… nearly impossible

        • OK, let me rephrase that: Helicopters couldn’t safely fly in that attitude. To quote from the article: Does this flight improve the prospects for future rescue operations?
          The thought of rescuing climbers was one of the things that motivated me to do this project. But the forces I encountered were so powerful that to guarantee a safe flight you’d have to design a more powerful copter.
          He saved tho climber, but from much lower attitude.

    • maybe if you read the first part of the article you would know. they clearly state that it is impossible for helicopters to get up there because of the low oxygen levels and conditions.

    • Can’t you understand? The reason that the bodies are still lying on the mountain is because they are simply un-recoverable. There are a lot of comments here which explain the reasons for this.Why don’t you try reading them.

    • With the strain these climbers are under and the conditions as well, carrying a body down from near the summit could cost somone else thier life.

    • To quote the article: “The Nepalese consider Mount Everest sacred, and do not want it to become a graveyard. Many parents of those who have perished have asked for the bodies to be left as they were when they died, but this is against Nepalese law. As soon as a body can be reached for retrieval, it is and then is brought down for identification and burial.”

      • Climbers also have to sign a waiver before they start, and in that waiver it asks them to choose whether they want to be left on the mountain or try to have their body retrieved and returned to their family, if they die. The waiver, so I hear, also requires a witness, like a parent or spouse/partner so they know what will happen.

      • i don’t think they should be there , a f1 pilot when he dies at a race his body doesn’t stay in the track , neither a footballer during a game , and these people love what they do and died doing it , don’t you think? It may be difficult,it may cost a lot of money but the Nepalese people should be respected in their wish of non existing dead bodies in their sacred mountain

        • Unfortunately it’s not a matter of money or the will of the people; I think all of would like to see the bodies removed. If anything just to clean the trash that has sadly become Mt. Everest. The problem is the physical removal of the bodies. It is extremely difficult and hazardous to the people that try. In some cases there are bodies where it is not possible to extract them. Just the act of climbing steep, icy slopes is very difficult above 7500 meters. Let alone trying to dig out and remove corpses that have been frozen into the mountain. The bodies have basically become part of the mountain.

          But I’m with you. If there was a way to safely remove them I’m all for it.

        • I completely disagree. They absolutely should be there to remind these climbers what they are in for. You don’t have many football players die on the field, nor would anyone else risk their own life trying to remove these bodies off the field. This is not the case for Everest. You are risking your life the minute you step foot on that mountain. It’s not a football game and to equate it as such just shows how naive people are about the climbing of Everest.

          • It was just a comparison. They do let you know the danger you’re in, I mean… you’re only paying $60,000 or more to do it after all. On that note, how do you disagree? You basically agreed with everything he said..

        • but f1 isn’t several miles up a mountain with no access!!!! The risk they take getting the bodies back is great so they don’t do it when they can’t against the law or not.

        • An F1 driver’s body doesn’t stay on the track because it’s easy to get to!
          My god! Please, for the love of the Internet, think before posting.

      • Why the HELL would ANYONE WANT to see dead bodies lying around in the open??? Why? It’s creepy and disgusting. Death is not beautiful. Dying on the side of a mountain while trying to reach the top is NOT more beautiful than drowning or dying at the side of the road in a car crash. It’s all just dying. And it’s horrible. And ugly. What is wrong with you people?!

  80. Very interesting article. Those who attempt the climb are brave souls. With the harsh conditions, and lack of oxygen, even small movements and extra movements are difficult, Just your clothing and equipment would be hard to manage in that environment. The risk of removing many of the bodies is too great. In those conditions you must think of your own safety.

  81. These people died. Death is not what we see in movies or on television…someone can only comprehend it once they have seen it personally. It is a shame that many of you can believe these people died for nothing. If you believe these climbers died for nothing you can at least have enough respect for them for having more courage to face death than most of us. These people have also been found and died maybe to warn people of this mountain and its dangers and that death could come at any time. Otherwise maybe more would attempt this and fail. Therefore, these people have not died in vain and to say so just shows the type of person you are to speak so cowardly about the dead.

    • I would like to think they died doing something they loved, and at least they tried to do what most people consider impossible.

      • I think it’s ignorant to romanticize a death by saying they died doing something they loved. That’s only said as a way for the survivors comfort themselves. Almost no one would do it if they knew they would die. Skydivers don’t jump out of planes without a chute. As a comedian once said “I don’t want to die doing something I love. I want to die doing something I hate – like mowing the yard. That way, at least I got out of mowing the yard”.

    • I think there is not point at all to climbing a giant mountain, nor does it help anyone. We sure all do have different interests.

      • Sure there is. The point is to get to the top. Get to the top. Enjoy the view. Immerse yourself in nature. Feel satisfied about putting a lot of effort into a specific objective and accomplishing it. There is a point to it. Using your logic, what’s the point of doing anything then? Why get married, have kids, strive a success etc.? The answer is that we do those things to fulfill what we perceive as ‘needs’. For some people that ‘need’ is to be physically and mentally challenged by doing something like climbing big mountains. I know you weren’t trying to inflammatory with your statement, so please don’t take my response as such. And yeah you’re right everyone’s interests are different. Cheers!

      • Melissa S. you trolling the comments with your ignorants don’t help anyone ether. obviously not every one wants to climb a mountain. I personally would not because i would be in one of these pictures dead. But its people with that drive to do things out of the ordinary and test themselves that prob dont have as many regrets as some of us who are here moaning and being negative. Also have some respect if your a child i am sorry i was ignorant as **** when i was young.

  82. I see all this, know I maybe one of those who’ll not reach the summit, but still wish I can go.

    • speaking of that i heard it is nicknamed rainbow vally due to the number of multi colored down suits worn by the perished climbers

  83. Very interesting article. The way I see it is that those people were well aware of the risks involved and I can think of a lot worse ways of dying.
    I was amazed at how much it costs to try the climb. Crazy.

  84. It costs 25,000 for a license to climb. Wow. It’s like the ultimate graveyard for thrill-seeking rich people. Bet they have really top of the line gear, too — Northface, etc. If they had only used their money and physical dedication to actually contribute something to the betterment of their fellow men (go dig a few wells in Africa or something) instead of shelling loads of cash for this sort of “recreation” that they hope will impress people at cocktail parties. (I have met a few who boasted of their Himalayan conquest at cocktail parties, yes… It causes narcolepsy in the listener.)

    • @Disparate Housewife so I guess providing employment income for the extremely impoverished porters and their families doesn’t count as spending money for a good cause? What about the many climbers that go there and help with construction projects and such in the poor high altitude villages along the way? Yeah I guess they really such too.

      • “Extremely impoverished porters” is inaccurate and an insult. SHERPAS are climbers who assist climbers and make good money doing it. They are respected and admired. Jon Krakaur wrote a book about the 96 season… which explains exactly why it is impossible to remove the bodies on Everest. The fact you are complaining about the level of discourse at cocktail parties makes me wonder why you are complaining about better uses for money than just selfish recreation. Go dig a well if you’re so upset… and stop hobnobbing with the hoi polloi at cocktail parties !

        • Porters and Sherpas are two completely different things my friend. You’ve obviously never been over. Sherpas are the equivalent of professional mountain guides comparable to those found in the EU, U.S. or Canada. The porters are ill equipped laborers that carry stuff (cooking supplies and creature comforts) to base camp for a wage before heading back to their villages. If you’re basing your arguments off of JK’s books then we were coming from completely different ends of the spectrum.

          • Ummm, J.Paul, Being a Sherpa is not a profession, they are an ethnic group of people from Nepal, the porters used are Sherpa’s as well.
            For those that think climbers don’t contribute, go read about what their $60000 dollars to climb covers, Licenses to the government, Sherpa guides and porters which use the money to live and provide for the families which a lot of would not be able to do if there were no climbers climbing Everest, as well as mentioned before the volunteer work a lot of climbers do to help out the villages along the way, money to the cabin owners where the stay along the hike to base camp, they also participate in the traditional ceremonies perfomed by the Sherpa people before the climb. Yes there are a lot of people that leave a mess behind and are pigs, but there are also a lot that have respect and clean up when they leave, just as there are pigs that leave a mess in the rest of the world.
            And for those that think bodies should be recovered no matter what, go spend an hour at 8000meters then come back and make a comment, and for the helicopter rescue, pretty sure there is a reason its not done, I am sure if it was safe and possible it would be done without question, just as it is done in the mountains of Canada, US, and other ranges with altitudes that helicopters can be controlled without risking the lives of the pilots and rescue personnel.
            And to those that say they are idiots for climbing the mountain, well they are trying to live life to the fullest, some people enjoy life by testing their limits and giving themselves challenges and others enjoy life by sitting behind the computer judging others and making ignorant comments on things the know nothing about or haven’t experienced for themselves. The difference between the two people is that the ones out challenging themselves are to busy enjoying life to sit at a computer and judge or insult the others who rather stay at home. Its too bad we have negative people in the world but I guess we need them too.
            Other then that, I enjoyed the article and respect the ones who faced their fears and challenged themselves. I am a mountain climber myself and I hope to see the summit of Everest some day! But right now my bank account is a little low!! Its

    • People like you are such a moron. People that climb do so for reasons that the lazy, slow fat “housewives” sitting behind their laptop don’t understand. It isn’t recreation. It’s called ambition….you cant buy it, you cant have someone give it to you freely. You just either have it or you don’t. I doubt you do. Don’t hate on those that do. Tool.

      • If I had such ‘ambition’ or any other grand personality trait, I’d use it to do good and not to pointlessly climb a mountain. Why waste such a talent and end up making the same impact as those ‘sitting at their laptop’? (none)

        • Wait now you’re taking it to a whole new level? What makes you think that people doing these sorts of things don’t have a positive impact? Many, many, many of the climbers that go to the Himalaya spend time volunteering in the high altitude villages with building projects etc. A friend is a doctor; she spends days treating people on the trek to base camp. So what the f%&k is your point? I guess you’re just another uninformed slob on the internet spewing about things you know nothing about.

        • “Pointlessly climb a mountain”…only the highest mountain in the world (or K2, depending on who’s measuring), the highest accomplishment for a climber…like pointlessly playing a football game which happens to be the Super Bowl or pointlessly playing a baseball game which happens to be the World Series…what an ignorant comment. It takes extreme commitment and dedication (on a level which you clearly cannot relate to) in order to prepare for Everest, physically and mentally. It’s not something you just decide to do on a whim. Oh, and it takes about 60 grand as well.

          Who are you to judge other people’s life goals as “pointless”?

          • ‘World’ Series always makes me laugh. Tell me, what countries of the world play in this ‘World’ Series? Oh yeah, it’s only an Americans. There’s one pointless name.

            • Actually there’s baseball players from all over the world that play Major League Baseball. Many are not Americans. So I’m not sure I understand your point. Please elaborate.

    • Put the Hateraid down lady. Now we know why your a DESPERATE house wife. You can go give you pay check were you want. Those who earn it should be able to do what they want, guilt free. You get the award for the stupidest comment here. Even the girl who asked “why don’t they get the bodies?” is above you level. Now , go dig a hole in africa and don’t bother responding.

  85. Anyone is an idiot for climbing any of these mountains. Of course now we have the Disney channel promoting it, with one of their kids bragging about how many mountains he has climbed. Its pure stupidity.

  86. A ridiculous position to find yourself in, dying on the side of a mountain whilst putting others into deadly dilemnas as to whether to help you or not. I agree with some of the negative comments on here, people who do this sort of thing are egotistical and self promoting. There are so many other worthwhile achievements out there that aren’t so selfish as this expensive assisted clamber to the top of the world. The ultimate naval gaze.

  87. The glory of reaching the summit comes from the extreme risks of doing so (although with all the technology it’s becoming less of a glory). I think people that risk that much for that kind of glory should know which risks they are facing and accept the consequences…I feel absolutely heart broken to see a mother of a young kid risking her life with the husband (with the tragic outcome) and leaving their child behind…what kind of mother is that???
    Let they stay there, since they risked so much to go!

      • @ Pamela Gavin: No. But your responsibilities inherently change. I’m a new father. In my previous life I was avid skydiver, BASE jumper, alpine mixed climber, and backcountry skier. I still ski in the backcountry but I’ve hung up my cleats on the other stuff. I’m 37 years old. I still have dreams of wanting to climb big, technical lines in Alaska and elsewhere. But at the end of the day committing to parenthood requires a level of maturity, dedication, and sacrifice. It is much more important to me that I do things in life to help ensure that my kids are on the path to success. Yes people die in other random ways; car accidents etc. But ultimately a responsible parent should try to stack the deck in their favor by making life choices that allow them a greater possibility of being there to guide their kids through life. Simply put, any commitment less than this is bad parenting.

        • Kids are not more important than anyone else in the world. You’re saying your wife/girlfriend and other family members aren’t important enough to try to stay alive for but your kid is! That is sick.

          • @Pamela you’re reaching. Here’s something to ponder as you drive to your night job at Walmart. I’ve accomplished more of my goals and aspirations in the last 20 years than you could possibly hope for with your clearly low level of education. Successful people tend to be calculated planners and by default they attain many of their goals prior to any “knocking up” starts in the first place. And here’s a newsflash for you, yes kids are higher up the food chain of importance because they have no way of providing for themselves. My wife is a CPA and has an MBA from Cal Poly; she can take care of herself. My parents are in the same boat because they also were good planners who prepared for the future. I have no doubt that you obviously prescribed to the notion that your absence as a dedicated and responsible parent can be overcome by simply passing these duties on to your own parents or other family members while you steadfastly and selfishly pursue your “life and dreams”. Now who’s the sick one?

            • The one bragging about his accomplishments, wealth and putting down people who work at “menial” retail jobs while self-righteously bloviating about how important his offspring are. That’s the sick one, I’d say.

              • @RadialSkid…you obviously have no “comprehension” of what JP is trying to say…go hang out with Pam, you can sit around and wait for the next welfare check to come in while the rest of us are out being responsible ADULTS who work and take care of their families…Awesome comments JP, you sound like a great Dad who’s willing to make the commitment ALL parents should to their kids and their families. We need more people like you in the world!! 😉

                • I was totally agreeing with JP until his ridiculous gloating and putting down that person for supposedly working at Walmart, I have no idea where that came from. You and he are both idiots.

                  • Well what you mean then Melissa, is that you do agree with me. What you maybe don’t like about me is my harsh, albeit satirical, lashing out against someone that clearly had no constructive counter argument to the broader discussion. You agree with me because my points are well grounded. In fact they are so well and carefully reasoned, that the only response I received was juvenile nonsense that was better suited for the Jerry Springer Show. So I decided to stoop to that level for a change; hence my comments about the fine clientele and work force associated with night shift at Walmart. I am sorry if this offended you; you obviously have no sense of humor. It’s funny to me that the person on here calling us idiots, missed the entire underlying point of the dialogue and instead latched onto the most trivial and adolescent portion of the discussion. Now, what does that say about you? :-)

        • And being 37 means you know you’re over the hill physically, so best to give up adventure sports. Focus on the children… yup, those precious children. Sacrifice. How noble.

          • I’m fit. Very fit. I still head to Valdez every spring for a couple weeks to stay sharp in the mountains. I run triathlons. 37 is far from over the hill dear. Rheinhold Messner completed a near route on Everest, solo, without oxygen at 36. He then climbed Hidden Peak and Annapurna at 40 & 41. Tom Frost climbed The Nose on El Capitan at 58. Yuichiro Miura climbed Everest at 80. Dyana Niad swam from Cuba to Florida at 64. So nice try. I guess self loathing and laziness at 37 is acceptable for you.

            As previously mentioned I’m still active in the mountains I just choose to do less riskier objectives these days due to my commitment to parenthood.

        • @JP: Perfectly said. I’m a parent as well, and I can’t agree more that the child must be the priority. Parents who go out of their way to court death with children, especially young children, are being extremely selfish. Of course no one loses their dreams when they have a child, but you have to put them aside for the person who is depending on your presence and support.

      • Don’t you know women are only here to procreate and pop out spawn ? That if you have a child, you alone are responsible for the little tot until you’re too old to pursue your own dreams? *smell the sarcasm* I feel heartbroken for any woman who is treated like an incubator and not an individual that has the choice of climbing or not climbing. You’re not a bad mother if you retain your own soul.

        • No but you’re a bad mother if you recklessly endanger yourself with high risk choices. There’s no problem for a woman with kids continuing to climb, just like there’s no problem with me ski mountaineering or rock climbing. But there is a distinct difference in climbing Mt. Everest or K2 versus choosing less risky objectives. Allison Hargreaves children know this all too well. Same with Alex Lowe. They were choosing objectives that were extremely risky, and they died. And they were two of the best Alpinists ever. I quit skydiving and BASE jumping because I have so many dead friends that died doing it. I quit climbing big, risky objectives in the mountains for the same reason. The chances of growing old and being there for my kids were very low if I continued. I did not give up my soul and I’m not suggesting that anyone needs to do that because they have kids. But a responsible parent who is active in these types of things should at least throttle it back. If you’re not willing to do that then you’re not fully committing yourself to your child. No where do I suggest abandoning everything all together for the sake of parenting.

  88. I think that before going to such adventures one should think about their loved ones and the pain that a tragic accident may cause them. RIP to all that have perished on that mountain.

  89. I just want to add that the glory of reaching the summit is not worth it when you imagine the tears of a child loosing their mother, father or worse, both. It is not worth the sufferening of the parents and family of the victims.

    • Which is precisely why there is no choice but to leave the dead (and the dying) where they are. It’s a terrible situation but there is no choice!

  90. Going to the top of Everest is a mental and physical challenge unlike anything else. I don’t believe anyone would attempt to climb it if they didn’t think they could make it back. However, that’s the risk they take…… The elevation is so high the body can’t stand it and wears down, makes a person tired weak; can only imagine…

  91. Hi. I. Admire the people who were courageous to climb mt. Everest! It is too. Sad for me to notice the people who did not make it! I do not understand why anyone would risk their lives for this?! In my opinion, it is not worth it. I will always pray goodness forever for the people who had passed! I really believe that they are in heaven!!! I do!!!! God loves everyone even if you are a sinner, he loves you more than comprehension! And he loves forever to all. That was his promise! My heart goes out to all. They shall always be remembered. Abundantly with love and spirit!!!! Thankyou! Kathy rundlett

  92. Haters that critized the dead:
    1) dont hate them coz they have the money spent on their goal of a lifetime.

    2) dont despise them for their physical powess/level.

    3) why not bash CEO billionaires that spends millions $\£\€ and tell them to save starving ppl arond the world or to cure diseaes.

    4) Why not go find something ur passionate about. . like go to a bowling alley or join a knitting/chess club (not that i look down on them), instead of speaking ill of the dead or bashing lifestyles of those w/ risky takers

    Pro-everest/risk takers:
    1) dont look down on the ppl that are less financially sucessful. Just know that ur fortunate enuff to have the fortunes, but i hope some of u use it for philanthropic means as well.

    2) Dont look dowm on fellow humans that are less physically able (as u may call them fat & lazy). Just take pride in ur capabilities and fitness/health/vigor & be greatful of ur genes.

    3) Im not saying parents of young children that climb the Everest are inherently selfish. There are all kinds parents in this world. Some parents choose meth, some abuse their kids (sexually/physically/verbally), some give them up for adoption. Some ppl love their children, some NOT so much.

    a little about me: i’ve climbed peaks i Himalaya as high as 6000 meters. I have been better off financially and less so at a different stage. I had nearly lost my mind & everything precious in my life. But one thing is clear to me: our lives are so fragile & so are our minds. Ppl die of car accidents, burglary, in theme park accidents, natural disasters (i lived in tornado alley for almost 20yrs). So, just try to do the things that u think/believe that truly matters to u, instead of criticizing the richer/poorer folks.

    thank you for taking the time to read this. Have a good life everyone. :-)

    • You say you nearly lost your mind, but you seem to be one of the most lucid around here. I agree with you on every point. I’m glad I’ve read your comment, at least I know it’s not just horrible people around.

      (Or maybe people who comment on the internet are mainly a special breed, that might also be)

  93. If you don’t like it or think its to risky, don’t go. Stay home on the couch. Eat a hoho and watch Bear Grylls. Get off this site and stop disrespecting those who died. Their families probably read this. .

    If you have the means and chance, man/women up! Go and grow a pair of nuts and do something you know 95% of folks can’t or wouldn’t do.
    Give your grandkids something to write about in a school essay.
    Nothing insurers you will be remembered in your family line like saying, I went over. If you don’t make it back its a double promise you will not be forgotten.

    RIP to all those who passed doing what they loved.
    I wish and pray to be as lucky as them and die doing what I love. My son and wife would be happier then me dieing in a nursing home shitting myself and having my grand kids to tell me who they are every time they come over cause I can’t remember there name.

    • George, ego and show-boating may be of extreme importance to you, but this is not the case for everyone. Much better to sit on a couch and just be a decent person to your friends and family, or a person that doesn’t look down on people for not having trivial pursuits.

  94. From my understanding MOST mountain climbers seek out corporate sponsorships which enable them to afford climbing the mountains. I recall reading all about this when Rob Hall died on the mountain in 1996 leading an expedition. I read how he and his partner and most others afforded it by the sponsorships they would seek.

  95. In fact looking it up now on wikipedia it says it there as well, under Rob Halls page:

    Hall grew up in New Zealand where he climbed extensively in the Southern Alps. In 1988, Rob Hall met Gary Ball, who would become his climbing partner and close friend. As with most other mountain climbers, Hall and Gary Ball sought corporate sponsorships to fund their expeditions. The partners decided to climb the Seven Summits, but upped the ante by summiting all seven in seven months. Starting with Everest in May, they climbed the last mountain, Antarctica’s Vinson Massif, on 12 December 1990, hours before the deadline. After this success, they realized that, in order to retain their sponsorship, each successive climb would have to be more risky and spectacular, increasing the risk of an accident. Therefore, Hall and Ball decided to quit professional climbing and form a high-altitude guiding business.
    Their company, Adventure Consultants, was incorporated in 1992, and quickly became a premier expedition guiding company. That year, they successfully guided six clients to the top of Everest. In October 1993, Ball died of cerebral edema,[3] leaving Hall to run Adventure Consultants on his own. By 1996, Hall had successfully guided thirty-nine climbers up to the top of Everest. Although the price of a guided summit attempt – $65,000 USD – was considerably more expensive than those offered by other expeditions, Hall’s reputation for reliability and safety attracted clients from all over the world. Rob Hall was well known in the mountaineering world as the “mountain goat” or the “show”.

  96. In a way I don’t think they died in vain.They were manifesting a part of man’s curiosity and determination to try and do what is virtually impossible.These climbers have part of a pioneering spirit that means humans can push themselves even in the hardest conditions.It is that kind of drive that can save human beings from extinction – such as migrating in the ice age.The first astronauts must have known they would die if anything went wrong but they still got in that rocket and went into space.

  97. What is wrong with most people here. The bodies are at rest in testament to what these climbers had the most passion for in their lives. Leave them alone.We’re all gonna be laying on a mountain someday. Get over it! These bodies are the most enviable fitting monument
    to the climbers posible. Leave their passion alone and check yours please.

  98. ….. wow. I knew people could be combative on the internet but I must confess to being stunned by the ugly opinions and name calling over what is a relatively benign subject. Just because you have an opinion doesn’t make you better or correct. It is ok to disagree but you must learn to tolerate those with whom you do not agree and even learn to tolerate some ignorance. Then move on. As I am …..

  99. I have been intrigued by Everest triumphs and tragedies for decades. There has always been a degree of haunting mystique that envelopes a climber…not unlike the polar explorers of the last century. The mountain presents an ultimate challenge to one self…a life and death test to explore what makes you tick. Can you accomplish the rigorous physical and mental blows your body must overcome? I do not pity the dead, and I do not admonish them for the effort. Many can sit at the sidelines and become an armchair quarterback, but when the chips are down, how would you respond? Putting yourself in this type of peril does not appeal to me, but I respect those who do. I also respect those who choose not to…we all have our reasons for what we do and sometimes we do not have to justify them to others. It is in ones inner spirit, and you go wherre it guides you. There have been some very balanced discussions here, and I feel enlightened by some comments.

  100. Great read !
    How sad for all of them . I cant imagine the paralyzing fear someone must have knowing they r gonna die……alone :( The husband and wife team is heartbreaking .:(

  101. Like they said above, people can be so mean over the internet. Just because one person has a different opinion from your own, doesn’t mean they’re incorrect. It doesn’t give you the right to bash them for what they think either. And technically speaking, several of the comments, such as this one. don’t even directly relate to the article. I would certainly not spend that much money, if I had it, on climbing Everest. But I also respect those who attempted to climb it although they should have had proper training or tried something easier first.

    • This certainly isn’t meant to be bashing, so I hope you don’t take it as such. Your last sentence you say that those who died should have been better trained or tried something easier first. Gotta take exception there. Many of those who have perished were among the best climbers in the world. Some had summited Everest more than once. Climbing Everest is the epitome of living on the razor’s edge. One small mistake (easy to do when suffering from hypoxia), or even no mistake at all, can kill a climber.
      I do agree that there are many who attempt to summit Everest have more money than experience and have no business being there…but climb operators have to share some of that blame.

    • Wind and UV damage… it’s like looking at an old flag that’s been up a while… torn and tattered from the elements…. it’s brutal up there!!

    • … I hope you are joking because that comment was to your immense discredit and even if intended as a joke. Or otherwise, it shows a pathological lack of respect for other humans, cultures, and life in general. You yourself are a souvenir of idiocy and immaturity.

  102. Well play with fire you get burnt, these people should’ve known better than going up that mountain to be able to brag about it. RIP

  103. This sport Is Incredible, And the people who do it are pretty amazing. I feel bad for the ones who didn’t make it, now for some strange reason I feel like having a piece of beef jerky.

  104. They fought for something they considerd to do..
    They came to there fears and they made there decisions to come face with this deadly mountain that was well known

  105. This is fascinating. And the following expresses my sentiments well:

    “The morbidity of seeing hundreds of bodies along one’s ascent up Mount Everest is only trumped by the fascination of the levels of preservation of many of the bodies.”

    Hoping to learn even more about Mt. Everest and the lives lost on it. May they all rest in peace.

  106. SIMPLE COMMON SENSE SOLUTIONS I HAVE (however it would require a lot of money and resources to build/set up):

    1. Permanent zip lines or a ski lift that runs from the Summit down to Camp VI or V (running straight down too fast would run the risk of the bends)

    In almost everything I’ve watched or read about Everest, the MAJORITY of people die on the DESCENT and typically around the 2nd step. So if we had a way to quickly get back to a base camp, I think the survival rate would improve.

    • Wow. Whos gonna finish construction when everyone who is trying to build this lift dies. With the conditions do you honeatly think any means of construction could go on at that altitude and also do you really think they would build something like that on a sacred mountain? Its the risk. Everyones well aware before hand and the mountain wasnt put there to climb – not its purpose. Mankind chose to climb it. You accept the fact you may not come back before you even start.

  107. Jon K :An F1 driver’s body doesn’t stay on the track because it’s easy to get to!My god! Please, for the love of the Internet, think before posting.

    Made me Laugh Jon!!!!
    I should think covering them with rocks like they diid for Sharp would suffice. I’m far more concerned about the tons of trash these “lovers” of the mountain leave behind. What is up with that. Humans = trash left behind . Sad indeed

    • No one is really claiming to be a lover of the mountain itself. They just want to be able to say they climbed it.
      When it comes to the trash, right or wrong, they are only worried about not dying. When you’re in a situation that’s potentially life or death at any point, with bodies lying in view to remind of you of that, that’s all you’re thinking about. I’m not sure of the wisdom of thinking one is truly just above that and would really be concerned about their own trash under those circumstances.

  108. Pamela Gavin :In other words, your life and dreams ended just because someone got knocked up.

    Mmmm, no. He had a kid and is being and adult . Guess you’d have to be a parent to truly get where he is coming from. Ditto on great post dad!!!

  109. Fernando Vidal :… I hope you are joking because that comment was to your immense discredit and even if intended as a joke. Or otherwise, it shows a pathological lack of respect for other humans, cultures, and life in general. You yourself are a souvenir of idiocy and immaturity.

    Some of you need to learn to take a joke….lighten up :-) I am surprised green boots hasn’t been covered up or a monument of rocks put together.

    • The pperson called “green boots” had a family–parents, relatives, people who loved him and still do, and maybe a wife and kids. For a lot of us who might otherwise have a sense of humor, it’s totally impossible to make any jokes about this when you imagine the horror that they went through knowing while his body just stayed up on the mountain, within literally a couple feet of the gawkers. 15 years of total helpless agony for the friends and loved ones of Tsewang Paljor. I believe his body has at least been removed from that location.

  110. So crazy that this thread has been going for so long. Awesome article and some great points made by commenters. Especially the ones that dispel the mindset that every person who climbs Everest is wealthy. Many if not most of these people train for years and summiting Everest is a lifelong goal for them… I know people that buy season tickets for their favorite football team year after year at a cost of 2-3k a year… Add up the years not to mention the money spent at the games, travelling and such and the cost is not that much less… but they do it because it is their passion… No hate to either side of the argument, everyone has a passion and most people spend money on “their” passion.

  111. Why climb this mountain at such extreme risk, at the expense of family friends and a foreign country. To solve the problem why does the country not just close the mountain to climbers?

  112. Much like the Vietnam Memorial in washington, d.C., memorials can be necessary precatutions to future generations of mankind’s folly, regardless of his noble spirit, that sometimes, things that seem safe to do sometimes are sometimes quite hazardous.

    Don’t former climbers owe that to future would be climbers of the price some paid for the desire to conquer nature, and make their own history of remarkable feats?

  113. Last year a good man and his son died on that mountain trying to become the first father and son team to make the ascent. His name MARTY SCHMIDT and his brave son DENALI. They were residing in New Zealand. Marty is from Castro Valley High. I remember him telling me when we were in jr. high he was a guide for climbers at Yosemite. He ended up scaling major peaks on several continents. So God Bless you my Friend and your good son as well.This goes for all who died on that mountain.

  114. Now that was a crazy read. Great article! I knew Everest was dangerous and that people died but I never knew that bodies we’re still up there like that.

  115. Rebel, that was my take a while back when I stumbled on this story. If that is not your area of interest you have no real reason to know that the mountain is absolutely abundant with frozen and desiccated bodies. Very surprising to learn and scary as well.

  116. Your friend Mark is an idiot, and if I had seen him pissing on green boots he would be lying along side of him.

  117. I grew up an hour away from the tundra treeline. A couple of times a season they would bring some poor bastard into town looking not much unlike the fellow in the photo above the “Dead Body on Everest-South Col” clip. Paradoxical undressing, the body constricting as they freeze.
    My older foster brother went on to be a firefighter when we were grown, He’s reported that people that burn and people that freeze often end up in similar postures.

    • thegirl, it must have been an amazing place to grow up in, if a little cold! And it must have been very sad for you to see so many dead bodies, who only died because the were chasing an (for them) impossible dream? I would love to try to climb Everest, but the risk involved is, even now, pretty high, and I’m not quite ready to die yet! Maybe I’ll get round to actually giving it a go one of these days though, as a life without risk isn’t really lived at all. I don’t know why we humans are always striving to climb the highest mountain, dive to the very bottom of the ocean, or to venture into space, but sadly, sometimes disaster is unavoidable and people get killed by living out their ambitions, aspirations and dreams. Still, a life without risk isn’t really a life at all, I suppose.

  118. That was the dirtiest thing I’ve ever heard of, urinating on a dead man’s face! You both sound like Americans, and very rude. It’s a disgrace to even print this

    • @Thomas Burcher: I do agree with your comment on how disgusting and disgraceful it is to do something like that but please don’t lump all Americans together in one such disrespectful group. I, for one, have great respect for other cultures and adventure hobbies of all kinds. Had I been able to climb any of these beautiful ranges myself, my reaction would most certainly NOT be to desecrate their graves. Not all americans are like this idiot Mark and his “friend”…if they even are from the U.S. Not all of us Americans are rude, contrary to what some people believe.

      • Second this – i’m usually far from broadcasting my U.S. nationality when i’m abroad (because of both this sort of prejudice and because, i admit, i am embarrassed by it’s frequent substantiation), but your sweeping generalization is really just about as indecent as the behavior which you are remonstrating.

        • I third it – I’m not American, but I have lived in California and it is a wonderful country – maybe you should get back into your cage and get on with painting the walls of your room with your own faeces.

  119. More than 200 young men died on Mt. Everest. Leaving behind their parents, families,friends wives and minor children whose eyes are filled with tears. It is very shocking in its own place. But it is a great place that the substantial courage would be explored after centuries by the people to come to these graves of the men of courage preserved for their knowledge and research. I salute to the courage and fearless spirits of all of them burried under the snow. God bless their souls. I with the relationship humanity am proud of them. Thanks.

  120. I would loved to know if he had the balls to say he peed to anyone at base camp,sherpas or guides….bet he wasn’t brave enough…shame he didn’t get frost-bite,well,that’s if he did it anyway.bit of a stupid idiot,are you sure you want to be his friend.

  121. Mohammad Ayub
    Approximately 1/7 of Everest climbers have been women. Not all of those 200 dead are men. Yasuko Namba was a 47 year old Japanese woman who died in the 1996 season coming down from the summit of Mt Everest. This was her completion of climbing the Seven Summits – the highest peaks on seven continents.
    Even the story above tells about the death of Francys Arsentiev, an American woman climber, and her husband.

  122. if this weren’t such an obvious lie, i’d say your buddy mark deserved to slip on his own piss slick and take the big tumble.

      • and to the Moderators, please don’t block that last comment, because it’s pretty easy to sit at a keyboard spouting endless crap/gibberish, but if you really HAVE climbed the world’s two highest/toughest mountains, you really deserve a lot of respect – I just have a feeling that the person who made the previous post maybe should be blocked/banned if it transpires that they are lying!

  123. This broke my heart ! I can’t imagine the pain and anguish this people endure before dying :/and the families too

    • Still, at least freezing to death must be quite a “nice” way to die. Apparently you feel warm, right at the end, just before you pass away. How brave these people are to try to climb the world’s highest mountain, and how sad that they all had to die. I don’t think that anyone who decides to attempt Everest deserves anything but respect and it’s a pity that so many people give up their lives trying to do that.

  124. What the F++K are you doing posting this trash here? This post is about people who have died attempting to climb the world’s highest mountain, and absolutely NOTHING to do with having an enlarged prostate or being bald! You really have got a cheek, and why do you think that anyone reading this, who has sought out information about the dead of Everest, would want to stumble across this bollocks/BS? You reprehensible TWAT. Still, at least if I start to go bald or have an enlarged prostate at any time, I’ll know where to look. Unless, of course, you think that this pish is somehow pertinent or relevant to risking your life and dying on the world’s highest mountain? I thought not, you total, complete, absolute and utter flange.

    • And, if this site is moderated, why didn’t the moderators stop this utter rubbish being posted? Unless, of course, they have an enlarged prostate, or are bald?

  125. I hate to say this, but anyone that gets into that situation cannot expect someone else to die for them. Above 24,000 is the “death zone”. That means it is all you can do to just survive, one mistake and you join the other couple of a hundred. A lot of them are visable but not accessable. Some have never been found, but they are there none the less. Each person has to pack their own gas. Would you risk getting yourself off and just barely, to divert down to someone that is basically dead?The sherpas won’t do it, not even for theirselves. Most of the folks that choose to climb this hill have the experience and the money to burn doing it, it is hard for the rest of us to generate much sympathy for those that took the risk, and lost. I would leave them, it reminds everyone that is crazy enough to try it of what can and will happen. It also won’t cost anymore lives bringing frozen carcasses of fallen and can’t get up mountain climbers down off the hill. Besides, without greenboots how will you know you are getting close!

  126. We do it because, we simply love climbing. Or we’re greedy and want the fame.
    I climb anything I can. And I’m going back when I turn 21.

  127. You can’t ask somebody to really risk his life for helping another one. BUT…
    BUT Green Boots’ cave, where David Sharp was lying, is at an altitude of 8,500 m (27,900 ft). The Everest peak has 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). This means that all the 40 climbers passing near David had enough energy and physical strength to climb more than 300 m up and 300 m down to the cave and then return to the base. They spent hours in the Death Zone (over 8,000 meters – 26,000 ft) after they first saw Sharp.
    I understand the harsh conditions and the difficulty to help somebody, but I think it’s not excessive to presume that if all that 40 climbers (who didn’t arrive in the same time, because climbers maintain some distance between them) had given up to their attempt to reach the summit, they could use the energy and time needed to reach the peak for moving David a small distance down. On an average distance of 12,5 m per person (or 25 m per pair) they had a chance of moving David out of the Death Zone, where other people from the camp, announced by radio, could have take him down more. At high altitude, oxygen administered and every metre is important and can rise chances to survive. There is no info that the first climbers which passed near David administered oxygen to him and protected him with blankets, like the 2 sherpas (who came much later) did. Unfortunately, when they found him, if was after many other hours, so his health status was worse than when the first climbers passed by, in their way to the peak (I’m a doctor and, reading that DS was still capable, after many more hours, of telling his name and number of expedition, I presume that hours before, when first climbers passed near him, his health and chances were better). These sherpa were only two, so they correctly assumed they can’t carry David all the way down. They did what they could to help and moved him a little in the sun. But if the first climbers who passed near him alarmed everybody on radio, then tried to move him at least some metres down, and then the others who arrived did the same and so on, it could have been a chance. Maybe they couldn’t save him, but maybe they did, without risking their own life, because they wouldn’t have stayed in the Death Zone more than they stayed anyway, to climb the peak).
    In 1996, Anatoli Boukreev was capable of helping others after he reached himself the summit without oxygen in the same day, so we can assume another climber could, at least, have moved David Sharp a few meters down, then return to the camp. But the condition was to abandon the idea of reaching the peak. They didn’t. I don’t want to judge anyone, but we should ask the question: if, instead of Sharp, was the child, friend or spouse of one of the other 40 climbers, they would have done the same? Considering there’s no chance and continuing to climb to the peak? Well, I know I wouldn’t. Of, course, there’s no use to stay to die yourself near somebody, but, instead of climbing more than 300 meters up, I think I would try to move down at least 10-20 meters the body or as much as I could, give him oxygen and then going down myself to save my life. I would have preferred to use the hours in the Death Zone allocated to reach the peak to drag an injured person along, than to climb up. Maybe some of the 49 climbers didn’t correctly evaluate the situation. Perhaps some of them considered Sharp dead already, as they weren’t alerted of a disappeared climber. But the cameramen who filmed Sharp and saw he was still alive, what were they thinking? I can understand that maybe you can’t help a freezing person in that harsh condition, but they decided to go UP to the summit. So they considered they can climb up more hours, but didn’t consider they can use that hours to warm, give oxygen, and drag the person they found alive. Hmmm…. I hope that their brain was affected by the lack of oxygen and this made them not to reason well…

  128. All man has done is proved that he can destroy the farthest reaches of this planet. Sad all the people who died. Sadder to see piles of garbage, oxygen bottles, and human feces spread all over such a pristine place.

  129. I would have no guilt in leaving a person to die. They made there choice. Why should two people die trying to save one. I am a avid scuba diver and I always tell everyone that is just getting into it. If a catastrophic issue arises under 100 feet. And the person is panicking let them drown. Down attempt to interfere. you will die to. Same concept at the top of the world. There is no reason for guilt. It is just the way it is.

  130. I’m not familiar with Mt. Everest’s terrain or the capabilities of helicopters so this might not be possible but why are helicopters not used to retrieve the dead and/or dying?

  131. Life in its’ self is a risk.But we open our front doors’ and step out.We many live or we may die in just that one moment of time. But we are Humans and we explore and we climb and we swim.We seek what is out there at any costs.We are Humans and that is what we do..

  132. For many years, first aid/rescue above 26,000 feet, consisted of getting yourself below 26,000 feet! That’s why it’s called the death zone.

  133. Please leave emotions aside, while at base camp the teams judge you on your ability to scale the summit and give u hint that it will be difficult and you could potentially risk your life. Why do bungees have to sign a declaration of will? U cant blame anyone, you signed up for that! I have been to 18.7k feet and that point u can really feel the pinch in oxygen, leave alone what it would feel in the death zone.

  134. For those of you who argue the point that it is impossible to help, I say to you that you are wrong.

    There are Sherpas who carry and set hundreds of pounds of rope, foods, Os, and tons of other equipment. Thier climbing, acclimatization, and fortitude are renowned. Additionally, there are many mountain guides who are naturally disposed to climbing and operating at elevation. I challange you anti helpers viewpoints the following:

    Why is there no Mountain Rescue units? When you go to a national park, or a ski mountain, there are rescue units. Said differently, the Nepalese, Chinese, and guide companies charge tens of thousands of dollars, this money permits the climber to climb, but affords him no other protections. Morally, If these entities take money they most also proved some level of protection. When I go ski in the Alps, yes, I take responsibility for my leisure, but there are still services to assist me when I have gotten in over my head. The Chinese and Nepalese Govts take money but provide little, they must install search and rescue units on that mountain. Place 1000 Sherpas and professional climbers on this detail every season. Pay them from the money you charge climbers, charge more for the permit if you must, or require the guide organizations to charge more for the rescue teams, but take some responsibility fir the tourists. Station the teams in rescue camps at multiple elevations. Purchase high powered light rescue choppers for retrieval at lower elevations. House pilots based at base camp.

    The problem is that from top down and out to the sides the culture on that mountain is very much based on money. Until this changes, Everest will be buisness as usual, people pay to die and the rest of us will argue the details.

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