Sherpas to Remove Bodies From Everest
High-altitude cleanup to begin in 'death zone'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 20, 2010 4:50 PM CDT
In this May 2005 file photo, climbers scale Mount Everest.   (Suolang Luobu)

(Newser) – A team of 20 Sherpa mountaineers plans to remove bodies of climbers who died in Mount Everest's "death zone," a treacherous stretch that has claimed some 300 lives since 1953. The team also aims to remove tons of garbage left behind on the slopes as part of a Nepalese government program to clean up the tourist destination.

The 20 Sherpas plan to begin the expedition May 1 and set up camp at the South Col, 26,240 feet above sea level. Just above the South Col is the "death zone" area known as the toughest stretch for climbers because of low oxygen levels and rough terrain. The team said it plans to remove at least five bodies from a narrow trail between South Col and the summit, but has not identified them.