More Than 200 Dead Litter Everest
Some bodies even used as landmarks for other climbers
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2012 12:28 PM CST
In this Oct. 27, 2011 file photo, the last light of the day sets on Mount Everest as it rises behind Mount Nuptse as seen from Tengboche, in the Himalaya's Khumbu region, Nepal.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer, File)

(Newser) – There are regular reminders in the news just how dangerous climbing Mt. Everest can be, but Smithsonian drives that point home with a look at some of the mountain's more tragic stories. More than 200 people have died on its frozen slopes, and many have ended up preserved in the ice where they fell. And, in a somewhat macabre revelation, the magazine notes that some are even used by climbers as landmarks. It specifically references "Green Boots," an Indian climber who froze to death near a mountain cave in 1996. His body is used as a marker for climbers to determine how far along they are.

Green Boots was joined by David Sharp a decade later. The English climber stopped at the cave where he actually froze in place, immobile but still alive. Some 40 climbers passed him, many possibly assuming he was Green Boots. When someone finally heard his faint moans, it was too late to save him. There's a full (and gruesome) gallery of many bodies on Everest at the website Altered Dimensions.

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Showing 3 of 21 comments
Dec 2, 2012 8:19 PM CST
This is not a laughing matter. Their families deserve to have their loved ones back for a proper buriel. Anyone climbing Mt. Everest should have Insurance. The climber can press a button and the "Help, I'm frozen and I can't move" SOS goes out. The climber is required to have GPS location finder. Someone help me here...isn't there a super duty helicopter that can work at an altitude of 30,000'. The Moutain is 29,200' Blowing hurricane winds. The Sherpa man who accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on the very first voyage up this magficent dangerous Mountain most likely could retrieve some of the bodies....Other Sherpa experienced climbers can do it.
Dec 1, 2012 11:42 AM CST
Am I the only one reminded of the Simpson's episode when Homer rides a dead body as a sled?
Dec 1, 2012 10:49 AM CST
So, Green Boots, and David Sharp are now both used as Landmarks for climbers? Can you imagine freezing to death, unable to move, as 40 climbers pass you by. Where was the Good Samaritan when you need him?