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The Grim Reality Of What Happens To You If You Die On Mount Everest

Abbi Murray

| Last updated 

The Grim Reality Of What Happens To You If You Die On Mount Everest

The harsh reality of Everest is made clear by the number of people who have died attempting to reach the summit and a gruesome fate remains for the bodies left behind.

Everything above 26,247ft on Mount Everest has a spine-chilling nickname – the ‘death zone’. 

Low oxygen levels combine with high barometric pressure to make it incredibly hard for climbers to breathe. 

Most adventurers aim to move on from this area within 48 hours, but unfortunately some do not make it out alive. 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

With over 300 people dying on the mountain, it is standard protocol to leave the dead bodies where they lie for a number of logistical reasons. 

However, they also remain as trail markers for mountaineers looking towards the summit. 

One climber, nicknamed ‘Green Boots’, quickly became a gruesome reminder for almost every climber who passed the death zone. 

Widely believed to be Tsewang Paljor, an Indian climber who died in 1996, the body remained in a cave that all climbers had to pass on their way to the top, the Smithsonian Magazine reports.

His famous green boots then became a landmark to gauge how close one was to the top. 

As of 2006, Green Boots was no longer alone, as another climber died taking shelter in his cave. 

Previously, an experienced mountaineer described the ‘death, carnage, and chaos’ that lay ahead of them as they attempted to climb the mountain. 

Film-maker Elia Saikaly said on Instagram: “I cannot believe what I saw up there. Death. Carnage. Chaos. Lineups.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

“Dead bodies on the route and in tents at camp 4. People who I tried to turn back who ended up dying. People being dragged down. Walking over bodies. 

“Everything you read in the sensational headlines all played out on our summit night.” 

She then shared a grim tale with her followers, stating: “I came across a deceased climber... that person’s body was fixed to an anchor point between two safety lines and every single person that was climbing towards the summit had to step over that human being.” 

As well as serving as gruesome landmarks for weary mountaineers desperate to reach the summit, the dead bodies also remain along the trail due to the high cost to remove them, as well as the risk to life.

It can cost up to $70,000 (£55,000) to remove a body, the Washington Post reports, which can also result in further fatalities.

In 1984, two Nepalese climbers died trying to recover a body from Everest. 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Travel, Weird

Abbi Murray
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