Over 200 people have died in their attempts to conquer the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. An estimated 120 of them remain there as a gruesome reminder to those who attempt to reach the summit. The causes of their death vary as climbers face the dangers of falling off the mountain, tripping into huge crevices, asphyxiation from low oxygen, and weather that can change drastically in mere minutes. Some climbers stop for a brief rest only to slowly drift into a deep sleep, never to wake up.
Most of the bodies are located in the Death Zone, which is located above the final base camp at 26,000 feet (8,000 meters). Many of the bodies are frozen in time due to the extreme cold. Other bodies lie in various states of decay. Retrieving these bodies is too dangerous and as a result they have become part of the landscape.
Here is a few of them.
The body of David Sharp sits in a cave known as Green Boots Cave. He made an attempt to reach the summit in 2005 and stopped in this cave to rest. His body eventually froze in place rendering him unable to move. Several climbers who passed by him heard faint moans as he sat freezing to death. He managed to identify himself but was unable to move. An attempt to move him into the sun to thaw him was made but eventually, realizing David would be unable to move, they were forced to leave him to die. His body still sits in the cave and is used as a guide point for other climbers nearing the summit.
Green Boots Cave gets its name from the body of Green Boots, an Indian climber who died in 1996 and still lies near a mountain overhang that all climbers pass on their way to the peak. Green Boots now serves as a waypoint marker that climbers use to gauge how close they are to the summit. Green Boots became separated from his party and sought protection from the elements. He sat there shivering in the cold until he froze to death.
George Mallory was the first person who made an attempt at reaching the summit of Mount Everest in 1924. His body, still preserved, was identified in 1999.
Francys Arseniev was an American woman who suffered snow blindness and fell while climbing down the side of a steep section of Everest. She pleaded for help and even though two climbers successfully reached her, carrying her off the mountain was not an option. They gave her comfort before leaving her to die. Feeling great remorse, they returned eight years later, found the body and covered it with an American flag. Francys’ husband, who was part of the group she climbed with, fell to his death in the attempt to find his dying wife.
Climbers often stack rocks and packed snow around the bodies in an effort to protect them from the elements. It failed in this case.
A man, fallen off the trail and too tired to get up, died in place where he fell.
Mummified bodies lying at the bottom of a dangerous cliff.