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The grisly trail markers of Mount Everest

Conquering Everest is the dream of mountain climbers around the world, yet successful climbers must not only conquer the elements but their own fears of mortality as they pass remnants of those who weren’t so lucky.

More than 200 people have died in their quest for this great achievement, and the hostile environment makes it impossible to remove the bodies in many cases. Considering the limited number of ways to reach the top, those who will never complete the return trip have become grisly signposts along the way.

Rest in peace. You died doing something most of us would never dare.

Body of David Sharp

The body of David Sharp still sits in a cave, known as “Green Boots Cave”, at the top of Mount Everest.  David attempted the climb in 2005 and near the top, stopped in this cave to rest.  His body eventually froze in place rendering him unable to move.  Over 30 climbers passed by him as he sat freezing to death.  Some heard faint moans and realized he was still alive.  They stopped and spoke with him.  He was able to identify himself but was unable to move.  Brave climbers moved him into the Sun in an attempt to thaw him but eventually, realizing David would be unable to move, were forced to leave him to die.  His body still sits in the cave and is used as a guide point for other climbers nearing the summit.

Perfectly preserved body of 1924 Mount Everest victim George Mallory

George Mallory died in 1924 and was the first to make an attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain.  His body, still perfectly preserved, was identified in 1999.

Full story at Altered Dimensions via Smithsonian Magazine.

Perils of climbing.

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