Many climbers dream of climbing Everest successfully, but not everyone’s dream comes true. History says that over 300 climbers who started their journey to the top of the world have never returned. One-third of the 300 came back but were not alive, and the rest two-thirds, i.e., the majority of the dead, are still under the snow of Mount Everest. So, no one will be wrong if they say that over 200 people are still trapped inside the heavy snow of Everest.
After reading the first paragraph, the main question that the topic of this blog raises, i.e., “Is it common to see bodies on Everest?” has been answered. Yes, climbers can still find so many dead bodies while ascending to the summit of Mount Everest.
Death on the Everest
Mount Everest is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the world. Even though it is considered one of the most dangerous and strenuous feats any human body can take, the number of people ascending this peak is increasing yearly. However, this tallest mountain in the world has taken the lives of a lot of people. The latest Himalayan database records show that more than 303 people have lost their lives while ascending the peak since 1921. Out of those, more than 200 bodies remain under the snow.
As so many bodies remain in the Everest summit trial, seeing several dead bodies while the climbers are closer to the summit is common. However, the death rate has decreased significantly as the level of safety and security has been enhanced lately, and the climbers are also well-trained. Furthermore, many walk-through videos are also found online, which were not available in the past. Advancements in equipment, gears, and safety availability have helped climbers succeed while climbing Everest and significantly decreased the death rate.
What are the major causes of death on the Everest?
As we all know, climbing Everest is difficult, as one must overcome several challenges and obstacles throughout the journey. If a climber does not do proper preparation and planning, there are chances that they might not survive the hardcore physical and mental challenges that Everest offers. Here are some of the major factors causing death while climbing Mount Everest.
Altitude Sickness and Lack of Oxygen
The summit of Everest is located 8848 meters above the sea-level. This means the climbers must cross several steep and rocky ascends while climbing Everest. After reaching a certain altitude, the chances of altitude sickness rise rapidly, climbers face difficulty breathing, and several illnesses attack them.
Another severe factor that causes death while climbing Everest is the lack of oxygen. The oxygen volume is very low as we ascend to the higher altitude. Therefore, if the climbers have not trained properly and adapted to the climate at the higher altitude, the chances of death because of lack of oxygen rise drastically.
Exhaustion and Dehydration
Climbers must walk for several hours daily while ascending Everest, which can make them exhausted and restless. Sometimes the climbers hurry to reach the summit, which is the worst thing to do while climbing Everest. Suppose the climbers do not get adequate rest. In that case, their bodies cannot function well, and walking in such a cold temperature with heavy gear and covering such long distances daily will make climbers exhausted to the highest level, and if not taken care of, this leads to the death of the climbers.
Besides, dehydration is also one of the major death factors during the Everest summit ascends. As climbers will be covering such high altitudes, they must drink as much water as possible throughout their journey to keep the body hydrated and energized. However, as the weather is very cold at a higher altitude, climbers often do not drink adequate amounts of water, which leads their bodies to deprive of water. As a consequence, they may lose their life because of dehydration.
Avalanches and deep snow
In the mountains, snow can also be deadly to the climbers. During the hot summer, there is a high chance of avalanches in the higher and lower altitudes. As excessive heat from the sun melts the ice, the melted ice starts falling, which causes avalanches. If the climbers are above the base camp, overtaking these avalanches is very hard because they will have few places or camps to hide during avalanches and snow slides.
In the winter season, there is maximum snowfall. Therefore, the trial will be full of snow, even at a lower altitude. Not to mention, the higher altitudes are always covered with snow. While ascending during these times, the climbers need to remember that there are high chances of getting stuck in snowy trials can be a danger. Many climbers unaware of this might get stuck in th snow, and the freezing snow causes them to remain in Everest forever.
Falls and injuries
The trail leading to the summit of Everest is full of icy, snowy, rocky, and slippery paths. While ascending in such challenging trials, climbers are likely to fall and get brutally injured. Even though the guides will be there with the first aid kits, major injuries cannot be healed immediately. Therefore, these brutal injuries can make the climbers lose their life.
These falls and injuries can also be caused by reckless gear, equipment use, and less knowledge about the trial and the necessary gear. Therefore, we suggest all climbers research the trial properly and learn to use all the necessary climbing equipment.
How do we conclude?
In conclusion of the blog, it is quite common to witness bodies as climbers have died while trying to reach the summit. However, the death rate has decreased as scientific developments are getting enhanced, and the quality of safety and rescue has also improved.
Therefore, many bodies found on Everest are of the climbers who had climbed the summit before the safety and rescue operations were developed. However, the helicopters cannot fly over Everest, the rescue operation around the summit of Everest is still a challenging task.
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1. How many people have lost their life while climbing the summit of the Everest?
As per the Himalayan Database, 310 climbers have died until the end of the 2022 climbing season, and the number is increasing gradually every climbing season.
2. Who climbed the summit of Everest for the first time, and when did that climber reach the summit?
Sir Edmund Hilary (New Zealand) and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay (Nepal) climbed Mount Everest for the first time on May 29, 1953.
3. How to be safe while climbing Mount Everest?
There are several ways to keep yourself safe while climbing Mount Everest, and some of those ways are by hiring a professional and licensed guide (Sherpa), following all the instructions given by the guide, carrying all the necessary gear and equipment, understanding the weather change and keeping yourself hydrated.