Everest Bodies

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  • Everest Bodies
  • Spin
    Member

    Saw this over on UKClimbing:

    Mod: NSFW or the faint hearted

    Everest Bodies

    large418
    Member

    Kind of sobering and sad. Would be very easy to criticise peoples behaviour from the comfort of the sofa, but Everest (and other extreme environments) are a different world – very much removed from the comfortable one in which we live, and a true test of survival.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    🙁

    Heart rending, yet so understandable.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Sounds like Glasgow

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA9ZiB20tt0[/video]

    maxtorque
    Member

    No idea why, but my first thought was “what mess” We should really tidy up after ourselves. (i mean all the abandoned kit/rubbish rather than the dead bodies (nature will eventually re-cycle those)

    mattsccm
    Member

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could keep this one short and not get all moralistic?

    Agreed. Very poignant.

    Edric 64
    Member

    dead bodies (nature will eventually re-cycle those)

    Mother nature is doing a crap job with Mallory he`s been there for about 90 years

    Grim indeed, most of the issues surrounding this are in Joe Simpson’s book ‘Dark Shadows Falling’. From the look of the photo, the last body isn’t far from basecamp at the foot of the Khumbu icefall, sad stuff.

    nick1962
    Member

    Fewer people have swam the English Channel than climbed Everest.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    that is truly tragic

    Even global warming wont make them accessable! I wonder if in the future technology might make it more viable to retrieve them or will they simply become future otzi icemen/women?

    I’ve always had a morbid fascination with this.

    Mallory’s body is now covered with a cairn, hopefully not all of these bodies are exposed as in these photos now, there’s over 120 up there.

    As a side note, between Dingboche to Lobuche there are memorials to those that have died, many are for Sherpas.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    I still can’t believe anyone could walk past a dying person.
    Must really take the shine off reaching the summit.

    chrisa87
    Member

    I’ve read about these people in a number of different books, but never realised how un-decomposed they are. The person in the campsite is particularly graphic, in that he/she would be in view of everyone at the site. Like zippykona says it must really take a shine off reaching the summit.

    I still can’t believe anyone could walk past a dying person.
    Must really take the shine off reaching the summit.

    You have no option, there isn’t the oxygen available to carry them off.

    Spin
    Member

    I still can’t believe anyone could walk past a dying person.

    Most folks up there will be right on their limit and certainly not capable of helping an injured or hypothermic climber down.

    nick1962 – Member
    Fewer people have swam the English Channel than climbed Everest.

    POSTED 36 MINUTES AGO # REPORT-POST

    The point being?

    Spin
    Member

    NSFW

    Really?

    MrNutt
    Member
    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @zippykona – you can stop and try and comfort someone but the more time you spend doing it the more you are endangering you’re own life. The climbers know its dangerous, seeing someone in the process of dying must indeed be terrible but that’s the reality of the environment.

    Premier Icon unknown
    Subscriber

    I’ve also long been fascinated by this. Death in general in never too far from my thoughts. I release the reality is/was very different but from this distance I think they look oddly peaceful. At least they died doing something they loved and believed in. Better that than cancer or being wiped out by a car on the way home from work.

    Spin
    Member

    At least they died doing something they loved and believed in. Better that than cancer or being wiped out by a car on the way home from work.

    I understand but am not sure I share this sentiment.

    chrisa87
    Member

    Spin – I asked for the note to be put on as I was expecting a link to UKC (admittedly I should’ve looked at the URL). They are a pretty graphic set of pictures especially when not expecting something like that. It is a horrible state of affairs. In the past few years I had the inklings of an ambition to climb Everest, but looking into it further (admittedly being an armchair mountaineer) being above 8000m is a pretty horrific place to be.

    Spin
    Member

    especially when not expecting something like that

    I thought the thread title gave notice enough.

    chrisa87
    Member

    I thought it was an article on the subject rather than such candid photo’s.

    Edit- Article on the subject when opening from the singletrack forum

    Premier Icon ddmonkey
    Subscriber

    It all seems a bit sad and pointless, a bit of a waste really. People die trying to summit other peaks of course but everything I read about the climbing season on Everest these days makes it sound like a zoo and another disaster waiting to happen.

    Spin
    Member

    I thought it was an article on the subject rather than such candid photo’s

    Reality bites?

    I remember going to a talk by Doug Scott, maybe 25 years ago, where he talked about climbing past a body on his way to a summit somewhere (not Everest, as far as I recall). He described the body as though the climber had sat down to have a rest and look out over the view of the surrounding mountains, and just never got up again.

    The mental image of it, and the matter-of-fact way in which he described it still stays with me now.

    I think you need to be a different breed to play in the high mountains. A good friend of mine who climbs found two (dead) climbers who’d fallen off something in the Alps. “Heads on backwards stuff” was the way he described what he’d encountered. He and his mate got down off the mountain, informed the relevant authorities, and then got on with the rest of their day. I can say with absolute certainty that I wouldn’t respond in the same way.

    Spin
    Member

    Reality bites?

    I really didn’t mean that to sound like a jibe but it seems odd that you would see fit to warn people about this thread if you had been considering climbing Everest yourself.

    nick1962
    Member

    Nobeerinthefridge – Member

    I still can’t believe anyone could walk past a dying person.
    Must really take the shine off reaching the summit.

    You have no option, there isn’t the oxygen available to carry them off.
    There is often an option,the rescue of some of the climbers in 1996 by Boukreev?

    As Edmund Hillary effectively said…..When 30 amateurs who’ve paid thousands of pounds to be molly coddled up by sherpas pass you when your dying on the mountain……you know there’s something wrong with how climbing and specifically Everest has turned out.”

    Nobeerinthefridge – Member

    nick1962 – Member
    Fewer people have swam the English Channel than climbed Everest.

    POSTED 36 MINUTES AGO # REPORT-POST

    The point being?
    It’s a more exclusive club and they don’t leave anyone to die.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    TBH I just thought of lemmings.

    Brian Blessed agrees.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/blessed-launches-bitter-attack-on-human-lemmings-of-everest-1349787.html

    that is truly tragic

    Let’s face it, comedy’s a dead art form. Tragedy, now that’s funny. – Futurama

    Spin
    Member

    There is often an option,the rescue of some of the climbers in 1996 by Boukreev

    Boukreev was an exceptional individual.

    The thing that’s hard for me to understand is not that you would choose to save yourself over another climber in extremis. I won’t judge anyone for that.

    It’s the seeing someone dying and carrying on with your summit attempt that seems worthy of censure.

    chrisa87
    Member

    Quickly – I didn’t ask for the thread to be taken to down or the link removed, just the note adding. I think it is important to have this kind of discussion as it does highlight what people are willing to push themselves to and the state of affairs.

    I had the idea of Everest as a naive sort of aspirational climber/mountaineer and then started to research it by reading books on the subject and the costs involved. In one of Joe Simpson’s books (Dark Shadows falling I think) he has a photo of one of the high camps with the general litter and bodies, which made me realise that it was not for me. I’ve read about David Sharp and “green boots” in a different book about what happened to him, so seeing those photo’s I guess you could say that reality did bite. I have no problem with people climbing or wanting to climb these routes, but it is definitely not for me.

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    never been in a near death situation, but have once or twice been on a big route on a big mountain in the alps/Scotland in winter where the weather has come in and things have got a bit desperate and found myself near the end of my tether, fearful and physically/mentally exhausted with frozen fingers. The mind and body can become near useless very quickly. I would imagine self preservation takes over and rational decision making falls apart, up there you would be operating at the very limit of everything, mentally and/or physically, not in a position to help others.

    samuri
    Member

    nick1962 – Member
    Fewer people have swam the English Channel than climbed Everest.

    POSTED 36 MINUTES AGO # REPORT-POST

    The point being?

    If you really want to be cool and everything, swim the channel, don’t climb Everest. That’s where the real niche is. Anyone can climb Everest.

    El-bent
    Member

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could keep this one short and not get all moralistic?

    Indeed. Much like the climbers who pass these bodies on their way to their own personal goal.

    maxtorque
    Member

    I think it’s good to see the realities of death occasionally. We now live such sheltered lives that where death happens, it generally happens behind closed doors. But it’s something we will all have to face up to eventually. I don’t feel sorry for those people who lost their lives on the mountain, as nobody “forced” them to go. They made a choice. On a plant of billions of people, a small number dying on a mountain isn’t really here nor there, and i’d rather go doing something interesting, difficult, and yes dangerous! It does sadden me however to see that beautiful mountain littered with the detritus of the people who have climbed it.

    Regarding “walking on past” someone dying, i think it’s impossible to realise what it’s like without being there. “Rescuing” an injured or dying individual(stranger) from the heights of Everest is highly likely to end in both their death and your own. Would you honestly attempt to help them if you knew with better than 80% certainty it could also kill you?? I don’t think you can answer that truthfully until it happens. I doubt a single person could bring down an injured person themselves anyway without significant support etc/

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    It’s a more exclusive club and they don’t leave anyone to die.

    @nick It’s not about exclusivity, it’s about achieving something. More people are interested in climbing Everest than swimming the channel. Also a rescue in the channel is pretty straightforward as you are accompanied by a boat. Rescue on Everest is very difficult to impossible.

    nick1962
    Member

    I think it’s good to see the realities of death occasionally

    Like at Bow roundabout?

    Premier Icon unknown
    Subscriber

    From what I’ve read there are 2 key things about those who pass someone to continue their summit attempt. Firstly the margins of error are so small that once someone gets to the point where they need help it’s too late, you can’t do anything so you may as well do nothing. That sounds harsh, but secondly there is a kind of contract implicit in making an attempt – you know the risks and the consequences and that people would walk past you just as you’d walk past them. Sadly there’s also the fact that an attempt is seriously expensive and there aren’t any refunds of you miss your one chance because you waited with a dying man.

    I have no personal experience even close to this, it’s only based on what I’ve read, bit I can identify with pushing your limits and chasing a goal. To me it seems incredibly honest, you go in with your eyes open and don’t complain if it goes wrong. I can’t say if I’d still think that as I sat there dying though. I suspect they probably don’t have time to reflect on much beyond the next breath.

    I do agree that it’s sad what Everest has become, that it’s not as respected as it should be.

    maxtorque
    Member

    nick1962
    I think it’s good to see the realities of death occasionally

    Like at Bow roundabout?

    Not really the same:

    Everest = people dying after taking a calculated risk

    Bow roundabout = people BEING KILLED BY SOMEONE ELSE through inattention or carelessness whilst going about their normal activities

    Hillary +1

    Why would people not make moral judgements, Mountaineering had changed a lot over the past 30 years and not always for the better. Much of what we see on Everest symbolised the dark side of the sport.

    When I did a lot of climbing in my youth there were two important messages I was told: (1) the best mountaineers are the ones who know when it is correct to turn around and (2) you look after our fellow climbers. How much of these core lessons still exits on the Everest gravy train?

    Evererst is a sacred place for the Nepalese. Perhaps above all we should remember that.

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