Because it is so risky and expensive to descend from Mount Everest, dead bodies litter the mountain. This spring, eleven people died while climbing Mount Everest. The deaths this year brought the cumulative death toll on Everest to more than 300 persons since pioneers began ascending the peak in the early 1900s.
The number of people who have died on Mount Everest is high because it is such a difficult climb. The altitude is one reason, but so is the cold. The temperature at the top of Everest can drop below -80 degrees F., and there is no sunlight during the winter months. People who die on Everest are usually found near their base camp site or along the route that they took to reach the summit. Some bodies are never found.
In April, 2013, two American climbers were killed while trying to ascend Mount Everest. They were among four people who died on the mountain that week. A sixty-year-old Nepalese man died after falling down a glacier on Mount Everest. His body was recovered by a search team several days later. An Australian woman died of exhaustion after reaching the summit of Mount Everest. She was thirty-one years old.
People leave bodies on Mt. Everest for two reasons: risk taking and money. There are many dangers involved with attempting to climb Everest, including death by exposure, death by falling rocks, death by starvation, and disease.
Because retrieving the remains of those who died while climbing Everest is a difficult and life-threatening job, the bodies of those who perished still litter the peak today.
The Mount Everest area is one of the most dangerous places in the world. An avalanche can kill you within seconds; others die from exposure or falling rocks. The Nepalese government has banned all commercial activity on the mountain. No one does any work beyond basic survival needs because it isn't profitable.
Mount Everest is also known as Chomolungma in Tibet and Himalaya in India. The name "Everest" was given by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay when they returned home with the body of George Mallory after he failed to return from the summit attempt in 1924. Mallory's body was never found.
Mt. Everest is a giant mountain located in the Himalaya range in Nepal and China. It is the highest mountain on Earth as well as the largest global supplier of ice caps. At 29,029 feet (8,850 m), it exceeds even the greatest expectations for a mountain. Its status as a giant glacier makes it even more remarkable. Each year, it loses about 1% of its total mass due to extreme temperatures and wind conditions at high altitudes.
305 individuals had died while attempting to climb Mount Everest as of January 2021. The vast bulk of the fatalities remain on the mountain. Some of the dead have never been recovered, while others act as somber "markers" along the path and are only revealed years later when the weather changes. It is estimated that about 50 people have died since the start of the modern climbing era in 1975.
In general, yes, bodies do remain on the mountain. The highest rate of discovery is around 880 m (2900 ft) above sea level. There are several factors that contribute to this: first, the higher you go, the thinner the air becomes, which limits how fast someone could die. Second, the lower the temperature, the slower the body decomposes. Finally, the fewer people who have died near by, the longer they can be seen from afar, giving those searching time to find them.
As more than half of the deaths occur between May and October, when it is warm enough for bodies to remain on the mountain, many bodies are discovered during these months. However, the majority of discoveries are made between November and April, when it is cold enough for bodies to remain on the mountain but not yet snowed under by winter storms.
Overall, the average time between death and discovery is about three months. However, some bodies are still being found after more than two years have passed.
Climbers commonly pass numerous dead corpses on Everest today, often with a moment of thought or—occasionally—a cairn of stones or flag to shroud the deceased. There are currently at least 200 dead bodies on Everest. Among the most well-known deaths on Mt. Everest are:
George Mallory and John Hunt, who attempted to be the first to climb Mount Everest together in 1924. They were never seen again after leaving their camp site on May 1st, and their bodies were not found for several years. In 1999, their remains were discovered by a team led by Dr. Ed Hillary. He and his wife, Lady Hillary, are famous for being the first persons to summit Everest without supplemental oxygen.
Donald "Dowie" Wallace was one of the first climbers to die on Everest. He suffered from high blood pressure and heart disease when he reached an elevation of over 4,900 m (16,200 ft) without adequate equipment. Although he made it down alive, he died shortly thereafter from cardiac arrest.
Robert Schmitt, a former Swiss ski champion, was killed while climbing alone on Mount Everest in 1986. His body was found by a Chinese expedition two months later near the South Col. He is one of only three people to have been killed by a falling rock on Everest.