More Bodies Exposed on Everest as Glaciers Melt
Nearly 300 people have died during their attempt to climb Mount Everest
Photo Flickr/Gunther Hagleitner
As glaciers continue to melt on Mount Everest, more bodies of climbers who died on the mountain have become visible. This was reported by the BBC.
Nearly 300 people have died in the dangerous climb that is Everest since the summit was first reached by Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese sherpa, in 1953.
As conditions on Everest are very unforgiving, the bodies of the deceased are typically left on the mountain. It is not only dangerous to bring down a corpse of a climber, it is also expensive. The BBC reports that it can cost $40,000 to $80,000 for each body recovered.
In addition, many climbers have expressly stated that, in the tragic event that they die on a mountain, not just Everest, that they want their body to remain there. Recovery is not done on some unless the family requests the body to be returned to them.
However, in other cases, the body is removed if it poses a hazard by blocking or interfering with an established climbing route.
And, in a rather gruesome turn, some of the bodies act as markers for those attempting to climb the mountain.
Another issue involved in reclaiming bodies is that the law in Nepal says that the government must be involved as well. This is not an issue on the Tibet side of the mountain and, as a result, more bodies have been removed there. However, more climbers do tackle the mountain from Nepal as the routes are more well known and are considered to be less difficult.
Researchers who have been studying Everest, according to the BBC, say that not all bodies that are showing up are because of climate change. As the Khumbu Glacier moves down the mountain, bodies are taken with it and may become exposed in the Khumbu icefall or even farther down the mountain.
However, more bodies are being exposed at Camp 4, also called the South Col, which is the highest, and last, camp before the summit. The South Col sits at 26,300 feet or 8,016 meters.
In addition to bodies, other groups work to recover the trash that is left behind as well. Climbers discard oxygen bottles, climbing gear and other items during their climb.