The “Green Boots” body has been on Everest since 1996 and is a landmark for climbers

This past weekend was a deadly weekend on the world’s tallest mountain.  3 climbers are confirmed dead on Everest and two are missing.  Missing on Everest means dead.  Nine climbers have now perished on Everest this season.

This Everest climbing season has been especially dangerous due to low snowfall in the Himalaya causing icier than normal conditions, weakened icefalls, more rockfall, and more open crevasses.

Because there is little fresh snow, icy surfaces on the slopes make climbing more difficult and dangerous.  The snow acts as glue, stopping rocks from falling on the climbers.” – Conrad Anker, badass USA mountaineer

Well-known expedition organizer Russell Brice cited the mountain’s precarious condition in his decision in early May to cancel this year’s climb for more than 60 clients.” – BINAJ GURUBACHARYA, Associated Press

Khumbu Icefall sketchiness

150 people attempted to summit Everest during a weather window on this past Friday and Saturday (May 18 & 19).  Large numbers of climbers attempting to summit at the same time creates dangerous traffic jams at the Hillary Step and the Balcony on summit day.

There was a traffic jam on the mountain on Saturday. Climbers were still heading to the summit as late as 2:30 p.m., which is quite dangerous.”- Nepali mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha

Common turnaround times on summit day are 11am-12pm.  Later than that, you’re gambling with your life.

“With the traffic jam, climbers had a longer wait for their chance to go up the trail and spent too much time at higher altitude. Many of them are believed to be carrying a limited amount of oxygen, not anticipating the extra time spent.” - Nepali mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha

Near the summit of Mt. Everest

The May 18-19 weather window was not an ideal one as high winds and very low temperatures battered the traffic jammed climbers.

“Last night [May 19th], the weather was very difficult with high winds and low temperatures. There were many summits but also many teams turned backed.” - Alan Arnette, Everest summiteer & climbing journalist

I estimate there have been over 300 summits this week alone.” - Alan Arnette

It was a very busy week on Everest with many climbers and teams on the mountain.  That resulting traffic jams were unwanted.

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Video displaying South Col route where deaths occured

CONFIRMED DEAD ON EVEREST:

- Shriya Shah, Canadian Non-Resident Nepali (died during descent from summit)

- Dr Ebehard Schaaf h, a climber from Germany (died during descent from summit at South Summit)

- Song Won-bin, South Korean mountaineer (died at the Balcony from AMS and fall)

CURRENTLY MISSING ON EVEREST:

- Ha Wenyi, a Chinese climber & his Nepali Sherpa

2012 DEATH TOLL ON EVEREST:

- 7 deaths have been confirmed this climbing season and two are still missing:

“40 year-old Karsang Namgyal Sherpa climbing with Prestige Adventures related to alcohol at base camp; Peak Freaks’ Namgyal Tshering Sherpa fell from a ladder into a crevasse near C1; Dawa Tenzing with Himex from stroke and died in Kathmandu; 33 year-old Indian, Ramesh Gulve, climbing with the Pune team suffered a stroke around Camp2 and died back in India. Dr Ebehard Schaaf with Asian Trekking of HACE near South Summit, Shriya Shah, a Canadian Non-Resident Nepali, Song Won Bin from South Korea died at the Balcony from AMS and then a fall. Chinese climber, Ha Wenyi. A Nepali Sherpa guide has been missing since May 19.” - Alan Arnette, Everest summiteer & climbing journalist

Climber body on Mt Everest

ALL-TIME DEATH TOLL ON EVEREST:

- 234 people have died on Mt Everest between 1922 and today

- An estimated 200 bodies are currently on Mt. Everest

DEADLIEST YEARS ON MT EVEREST:

- 1996 = 15 deaths

- 2006 = 11 deaths

- 1982 = 11 deaths

- 1988 = 10 deaths

- 1997 = 9 deaths

- 1922 = 7 deaths (there are many years with 8 deaths but 1922 was the 1st climbing season ever on Everest)

Many of the 200 bodies on Everest are on the summit route. They are used as landmarks to orient climbers to their exact position.

MORE EVEREST FACTS:

- 1 out of every 10 successful summits ends in death on Everest

- Most deaths occur on descent not ascent 

- Deadliest day on Mt Everest = May 10th 1996 when 8 people died

- There is currently no limit on how many climbers can attempt Everest in one season

The message conveyed in this post is that climbing above 8,000 meters is extremely serious.  So many factors encountered are out of your control.  Add to that a bulk of climbers on summit day at the same time, and the risk factors multiply.  Climbing Mt Everest is both a crowning achievement and a profound risk for anyone daring enough to attempt to reach its summit.

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35 Comments

  1. Chuck u. Farley says:

    I used to be enamored with high altitude mountaineering and it’s culture, and I still am to a degree. But the circus that Everest has become is pretty fucking disturbing.

    Reply
  2. Jake Cohn says:

    This shit is really CRAY !

    Reply
  3. tornedge says:

    aside from the fact that it’s clearly inconvenient, what’s the rationale for leaving bodies all over the place? I’m not impressed with these people, guides or wankers. Heck, Steve Mc and his buds just about ran up that mountain, for the fun of it. Most of the people are wealthy hacks. half the climbers in Tahoe are twice as skilled and fit. I’m really sick of their crap.

    Reply
    • Sarcasm? says:

      Cant tell if this is sarcasm or not?

      Whats the Rationale? It’s hard enought to complete the summit mission in its own! Try carrying a frozen human fish stick down on that mission as well?

      Do you like fishsticks?

      Reply
    • brian says:

      assuming youre serious:

      200+ of the 234 people who died on everest are still there, and probably will be until helicopter rescue technology takes about 500 steps forward. by that point it may be the demand to clean up the mountain that financially pushes the innovation, given the increased volume of climbers

      the idea is that its obviously the absolute limit of a human being to get themselves up and down that mountain… the idea of carrying 100-200lbs of extra weight in impossible. taking too many extra steps is sometimes fatal, let alone lugging a skeleton in north face gear with you. as technologically advanced as we are, at this point attempting a recovery is much more likely to be a +1 to the body count than a -1

      Reply
  4. JW says:

    Those pictures are really something. I am not a climber at all and had no idea that bodies were used as landmarks. That is incredible. wow.

    Reply
  5. SHERPA says:

    Everest is not a playground for everyone. Sherpas give up their life for money. Sad that some people has no physical capability to but lots of money ability.

    Physically and mentally, not very many foreigner could do much at or above 25K feet. But Their money and ego makes them to go and push with the help of SHERPAs draggin their ASS OFF TO THE TOP OF WORLD. once they reach to the top, they are taken down safely by the sherpas again hoping for a good tip. Climbers might leave a 200 to 500 and some with lots of cash might give 1000 dollar as tip. Then they return back to their country and start publishing themself and promoting assuming they did a solo climb to the top of mt. everest
    Lots of BS game !!

    Reply
  6. O'Doyle Rules! says:

    I can’t shake “green boots” from my head today. He just looks so pathetic all fallen over in mid stride, his face hidden in shame at his failure.

    I want to know the story. Are all these dead up there desk jockey investment bankers that under estimated the summit? Or are they actual experienced climbers; accomplished mountaineers frozen as proof that no one is all that special?

    Reply
    • Glen says:

      Can’t say for sure, but if that green booted body is from the ’96 incident, if very well maybe Rob Hall’s body; who was a Everest guide. The whole ’96 incident can be read about in “Into Thin Air”

      Reply
    • AnApparition says:

      Gain some perspective about how brutally difficult Everest is by reading Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. May of 96, Rob Hall, Andy Harris, and Scott Fisher…some of the best climbers in the world, died on the mountain. The best can die on that mountain, and you’re pretty much at its mercy and mercy of the weather when you climb it.

      Reply
  7. brian says:

    somewhat graphic but very interesting article about the situation of death and body recovery on everest. in short, its against nepalese law to leave a body there but theres often no way to retrieve it. given the massive increase in summit attempts, id imagine this situation hits a breaking point soon

    http://sometimes-interesting.com/2011/06/29/over-200-dead-bodies-on-mount-everest/

    Reply
  8. Mountain Fan says:

    “Green Boots” is likely the corpse of Indian climber Tsewang Paljor (age 28). Who after summiting Everest became a victim of the storm on May 10, 1996, on his descent. Seven other climbers also died that day on Everest. At this elevation there is no “mid stride”, more so one foot in front of the other. Rob Hall and Scott Fischer perished the same day on Everesst. Both Hall and Fischer were world class mountaineers. There are books written by mountaineers of their first hand account of the 1996 Everest season. Mainstream media reports rarely reflect accurate Everest climbing successes or incidents. Regardless of your support team, gear, bottles of oxygen and/or professional guide(s) there is no such thing as an easy trip to and from the summit of Everest.

    Reply
  9. iknoweverything says:

    You would think that someone would create an expedition team to remove the bodies up on the mountain. Yes it is harsh, yes it is gnarly, but hundreds of people summitting in one day, maybe 20 of them could put aside summitting and turn their attention to a better cause. I’m not buying that it isn’t possible, to me it sounds like inflated egos with self serving goals. The story of David Sharp in the link, sad, very sad. 40 people pass the guy, even film him and none stop to help save a life. Disgusting

    Reply
    • brian says:

      do some homework and youll realize that what youre describing is much harder than you think, if even possible. youll find that many many people have gone up there to do just that, and the best they have been able to do is cover a body with rocks or roll them off a cliff so theyre not in plain sight (or more likely, not in the way and thus an additional hazard to those still alive)

      Reply
    • you dont know shit says:

      that is one of the most ridiculous things I have read. Maybe 20 of them can put aside their life and die for someone who is already dead!

      Reply
    • Anonymous says:

      Some who have previously attempted to remove bodies have died trying. Good idea though. Hey, like, maybe they could just build some stairs?

      Reply
    • Kay says:

      Some who have previously attempted to remove bodies have died trying. Good idea though. Hey, like, maybe they could just build some stairs?

      Reply
  10. BOOMER says:

    OMG,, and why not just go swim with a school of great white sharks, with your pockets full of bloody raw hamburger.

    I wonder what the waiver reads for starting out on the death march?

    “one in ten deaths, you are next.”
    Oh yeah, sign me up..

    sounds like a few too many people have been skipping their medication again.

    LIfe=risks.. but oh the lacking in common sense..

    gotta love Darwin Law in motion….

    Reply
  11. Aaron I says:

    It’s a medically proven fact that thrill seekers, and YES these people are, have a baseline mood which is below that of other people while in a state of relaxation! They are therefore in a constant search for things to “amp” themselves back up into a state acceptable to them! My advice, seek therapy and stop turning one of the wonders of the world into something that is morbid and strewn with trash!

    Reply
  12. Joe says:

    Rob Hall and Scott Fischer were pro climbers and died on the mountain. Meanwhile, lots of non pro climbers (office workers, housewives, etc.) have made it up and down. It seems anyone can climb Everest nowadays and whether you succeed or die depends on luck as much as skill. It’s no big deal.

    Reply
  13. Jon B says:

    Everest has become big business. you have every wealthy ppl who have every little detail taken care of by someone else – guides, Sherpas, etc. Their Lines are fixed for them, their ladders are set-up, their gear is carried by Sherpa. It’s a joke, really – and a shame to the true climbers. All so that some socialite can say ‘oh yeah, we bagged Everest’ at some cocktail party. On their own they probably could not summit Mt Washington. (apprx 6K). But, like so many other things these days it is all about money. If you’ve got the cash there is someone out there who will drag you to the summit.

    Reply
  14. Jon B says:

    Everest has become big business. you have every wealthy ppl who have every little detail taken care of by someone else – guides, Sherpas, etc. Their Lines are fixed for them, their ladders are set-up, their gear is carried by Sherpa. It’s a joke, really – and a shame to the true climbers. All so that some socialite can say ‘oh yeah, we bagged Everest’ at some cocktail party. On their own they probably could not summit Mt Washington. (apprx 6K). But, like so many other things these days it is all about money. If you’ve got the cash there is someone out there who will drag you to the summit.

    God bless those who perished,
    JB

    Reply

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