Home > Abandoned - Explained, Amazing, Asia, Creepy, Explained > Over 200 Dead Bodies on Mount Everest

Over 200 Dead Bodies on Mount Everest

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.  Given this, many victims lay where they took their last breath.


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

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)

Everest-Francys-2 Everest-Francys-3 Everest-Francys-1

Francys Arsentiev before her death; Francys memorial


Green Boots

PaljorPossibly 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

One 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.

During 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:


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.  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 (called 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

David 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.

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:

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



Some died peacefully in their sleep, while others (who fell and/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.


Quick video of a discovered body:  

Satellite & Map: here

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


  1. J. Paul
    May 25, 2012 at 10:46

    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.

    • Kalo
      May 26, 2013 at 12:39

      In this time Zsolt Erőss in Kancsönzenga. He was the best hungarian climber. Peace

      • josie wallace
        February 3, 2014 at 07:52

        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?

        • Walks702
          March 4, 2014 at 11:08

          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.

  2. joe from tampa
    May 25, 2012 at 22:39

    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.

    • Woodat
      May 19, 2013 at 14:24

      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 !

      • william michaels
        June 29, 2013 at 17:31

        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…

        • J. Paul
          June 29, 2013 at 18:03

          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!

        • alec
          August 3, 2013 at 20:20

          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.”

          • Marlon
            August 9, 2013 at 17:50

            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.

            • Albert Landa
              August 9, 2013 at 19:16

              I think that heroin loved him more than he loved heroin

      • October 22, 2013 at 10:53


    • Jane Smith
      May 27, 2013 at 11:31

      I already did, actually. The internet thing is quite used by everyone now, you know?

    • November 8, 2013 at 07:45

      joe from tampa: speak for yourself re: physical ability.

  3. Jay
    May 26, 2012 at 09:33

    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.

    • Ryan
      April 5, 2013 at 09:21

      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.

      • Woodat
        May 19, 2013 at 14:31

        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”

    • Akos
      May 26, 2013 at 17:51

      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.

  4. michael gillissen
    May 26, 2012 at 17:47

    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.

    • Woodat
      May 19, 2013 at 14:35

      “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)

  5. mark
    May 27, 2012 at 00:57

    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

    • kagmcp1
      April 23, 2013 at 14:26

      You would not be able to save their life. The end result would be you would die as well trying.

  6. Rob
    May 27, 2012 at 10:04

    Any of you kids ever been above 8000m???i think not…

    • Tox
      October 24, 2013 at 22:21

      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.

  7. Rob
    May 27, 2012 at 10:14

    i am typing this on my android right under the Serac of K2 hope i make it home

    • J. Paul
      May 30, 2012 at 15:56

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

  8. Max'smom
    May 27, 2012 at 19:46

    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.

    • Div
      February 24, 2013 at 11:23

      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.

      • juno
        February 25, 2013 at 22:15

        Much agreed !!

      • February 28, 2013 at 22:47

        I’ve always thought that too.

      • grahamk
        March 3, 2013 at 14:33

        But it is their life. How people choose to live their life is the fundamental freedom we are all entitled to, and if using that freedom to do something this dangerous is how you want to spend the currency that is your lifespan then I have no choice but to respect that

    • nicole
      March 27, 2013 at 23:48

      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.

    • James Wilson
      May 24, 2013 at 09:58

      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.

      • Doug Brookes
        June 20, 2013 at 18:00

        This has got to be the most sensible and realistic comment/explanation I have seen amid all the BS ones

  9. Jeff
    May 28, 2012 at 21:22

    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.

    • July 14, 2014 at 10:38

      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.

  10. dude
    May 29, 2012 at 22:30

    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.

  11. May 31, 2012 at 09:52

    Everybody dies, but not everybody lives

    • That Guy
      June 1, 2012 at 01:16

      Passion knows no bounds

  12. blogzilla
    June 3, 2012 at 04:09

    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.

    • juno
      February 25, 2013 at 22:18

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

  13. never climbed
    June 25, 2012 at 15:33

    where can I watch dying for everest?

    • September 1, 2012 at 06:37

      You can view or search the video on You Tube…as what i know

  14. July 7, 2012 at 02:13

    May god Bless them death..

  15. Rance
    July 10, 2012 at 12:11

    like moths to a flame they just keep coming back….

  16. g.r.r.
    July 30, 2012 at 19:56

    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.

    • thegirl
      August 9, 2014 at 19:00

      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.

  17. Alex
    August 27, 2012 at 17:41

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

    • Skynet
      August 27, 2013 at 01:15

      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.

  18. Aaron
    August 29, 2012 at 20:01

    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.

  19. Alien Technocrat
    September 22, 2012 at 14:04

    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.

  20. Shaking Head
    September 30, 2012 at 15:20

    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?

    • dirrly
      January 4, 2013 at 15:10

      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.

      • Snuffy63
        July 27, 2013 at 19:27

        “…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.

        • Snuffy63
          July 27, 2013 at 19:29

          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.

  21. mountainlove
    October 13, 2012 at 04:35

    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 .

  22. Daniel Reed
    November 14, 2012 at 01:39

    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

  23. Idolhanz
    November 29, 2012 at 21:14

    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

    • December 3, 2012 at 08:30

      They should have thought about that before risking their lives climbing up a mountain for no reason.

      • Trina
        December 9, 2012 at 22:28

        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.

        • Solomon
          December 11, 2012 at 07:19

          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.

  24. dawn marie
    December 19, 2012 at 19:31

    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.

    • Ron
      December 20, 2012 at 08:54

      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

  25. Ryan
    December 25, 2012 at 04:43

    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!!

    • April 16, 2013 at 09:57

      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.

  26. Red Kayak
    December 30, 2012 at 09:05

    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.

    • Valerie
      February 3, 2013 at 20:18

      Helicopters cannot fly in air that thin. Otherwise, many more people would’ve been rescued over the years.

      • April 16, 2013 at 10:05

        Swiss helicopter teams are working at Everest nowadays and they have saved hundreds of lives.

  27. Ad
    February 1, 2013 at 19:07

    The real heros are the Sherpa’s!!!

  28. Nick Rose
    February 28, 2013 at 17:37

    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.

    • thegirl
      August 9, 2014 at 19:15

      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.

  29. BillB
    March 2, 2013 at 14:56

    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!

  30. March 10, 2013 at 09:32

    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.

  31. Thuggy
    March 16, 2013 at 08:02

    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.

    • nicole
      March 27, 2013 at 23:48

      I agree!

  32. Lone Stanger
    March 25, 2013 at 18:23

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

  33. drongo58
    March 26, 2013 at 21:40

    200+ plus reasons I wont ever climb Everest. R.I.P to those brave adventurers.

  34. April 16, 2013 at 10:02

    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…

    • Bec215
      May 26, 2013 at 14:16

      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.

    • August 3, 2013 at 18:31

      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…

  35. Fred Douglass
    April 17, 2013 at 07:21

    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!

  36. Dan
    April 28, 2013 at 02:41

    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.

  37. beachbabygirrl
    May 15, 2013 at 23:12

    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.

    • drongo58
      May 16, 2013 at 08:29

      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.

    • Theophotoz
      May 19, 2013 at 15:34

      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.

  38. posh
    May 23, 2013 at 06:25

    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…

  39. monique
    May 24, 2013 at 11:58

    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,

  40. May 24, 2013 at 15:31

    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.

    • Snow white
      May 26, 2013 at 02:08

      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.

      • Asif mahfuz
        June 3, 2013 at 01:07

        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 )

  41. Albert Landa
    May 29, 2013 at 02:45

    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

    • thegirl
      August 9, 2014 at 19:27

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

  42. May 29, 2013 at 15:30

    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.

    • thegirl
      August 9, 2014 at 19:39

      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.

  43. Albert Landa
    May 29, 2013 at 16:53

    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.

  44. May 30, 2013 at 06:38

    Reblogged this on The Matter of Life and Death.

  45. Magenta
    May 31, 2013 at 23:06

    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.)

    • Seth
      July 16, 2013 at 00:16

      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.

      • Magenta
        July 25, 2013 at 22:13

        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.

      • Sergio
        March 19, 2014 at 14:30

        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.

  46. Asif mahfuz
    June 3, 2013 at 01:09

    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 )

  47. Albert Landa
    June 29, 2013 at 19:45

    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?

  48. Sara
    July 4, 2013 at 11:19

    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.

  49. Kyle
    August 2, 2013 at 21:58

    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.

  50. Clarke
    August 7, 2013 at 00:15

    I have no sympathy for anyone who dies doing this. It is ridiculous.

    • Kris
      October 10, 2013 at 11:13

      That’s what a coward would say

    • Duuuuh
      October 25, 2013 at 22:15

      I don’t think any of them were asking for it.

Comment pages

Join the discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,513 other followers

%d bloggers like this: