There Are Over 200 Bodies on Mount Everest, And They’re Used as Landmarks
By Rachel Nuwer Smithsonian.com
More than 200 people have died in their attempt to scale Mount Everest. The mountain offers seemingly endless options for kicking the bucket, from falling into the abyss to suffocating from lack of oxygen to being smashed by raining boulders. Yet climbers continue to try their skills – and luck – in tackling Everest, despite the obvious dangers. Indeed, the living pass the frozen, preserved dead along Everest’s routes so often that many bodies have earned nicknames and serve as trail markers. Here are a few of the more colorful tales, adapted from Altered Dimensions:
The body of “Green Boots,” an Indian climber who died in 1996 and is believed to be Tsewang Paljor, lies near a cave that all climbers must pass on their way to the peak. Green Boots now serves as a waypoint marker that climbers use to gauge how near they are to the summit. Green Boots met his end after becoming separated from his party. He sought refuge in a mountain overhang, but to no avail. He sat there shivering in the cold until he died.
In 2006, English climber David Sharp joined Green Boots. He stopped in the now-infamous cave to rest. His body eventually froze in place, rendering him unable to move but still alive. Over 40 climbers passed by him as he sat freezing to death.