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Corpse on Mount Everest Used as Landmark

Corpse on Mount Everest Used as Landmark

In 2012, CBC News reported that there were over 200 human bodies on Mount Everest, some of which were used as landmarks when navigating the mountain.

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Over 200 Corpses Left on Mount Everest

In May of 2012, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) featured an interview with mountaineer Alan Arnette. Arnette successfully scaled Mt. Everest in May of 2011, and reported that approximately 200 human bodies had been left on the mountain, some of which were used as landmarks by other climbers.

Mt. Everest is a very dangerous mountain to climb, and many climbers reportedly die in an area dubbed “the death zone” which is 8,000 meters above sea level. Common causes of death are listed as low oxygen, falling, freezing, and being crushed by falling rocks. Another reported factor contributing to dangerous conditions on Everest is an overpopulation of climbers.

Green Boots

On the north side of Mt. Everest, right off the trail up the mountain, is the body of an Indian climber (thought to be Tsewang Paljor) who froze to death in 1996. The corpse is used by some as a way-point, and is nicknamed “Green Boots” due to his green colored ski boots. When asked about corpses being used as landmarks, Arnette offered the following response, “There is a dead climber on the north side who is referenced by his green boots, and it’s very disrespectful. But he is called a landmark, and he is right there next to the trail.”

Body of Tsewangg Paljor on Mt. Everest

The body of Tsewanh Paljor on Mt. Everest. Photo credit: Maxwelljo40 on Wikimedia Commons.

Arnette cites danger and high retrieval costs as reasons that corpses are left abandoned on the mountain.

Bottom Line

There are estimated to be roughly 200 human bodies that have been left on Mount Everest. These corpses belong to climbers that have died, and are apparently abandoned due to high cost and danger of retrieval. One such body, disrespectfully referred to as “Green Boots”, has been on the mountain since 1996 and is sometimes used as a landmark by other climbers. The body is thought to belong to an Indian climber named Tsewang Paljor.

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