I was reading an article about climbing Mt. Everest. Personally, this is not something I would feel the need to do. The biggest uphill challenge I face is bypassing an escalator for a set of stairs at the mall. Okay, I did climb the Statue of Liberty once, but only because I thought I should. Native New Yorkers never do the touristy stuff, and I wanted to know if I missed out on anything; I learned I did not. I guess I am just not a vertical ascending personality.
Anyway, in this article, they interviewed Mt. Everest climbers about what it was like to scale the mammoth mountain. Of course, there were the expected responses about the cold, wind and dangerous thin air which can cause climbers to hallucinate, fall or even die. But the response I didn’t expect was the one from climbers talking about the dead corpses they saw on their way to reaching the summit. Yes, there are about 200 corpses dotting the frozen landscape. Some of the bodies are in places where the Sherpa or native mountain people cannot get to them, but at least one body, which lies right next to the trail, is intact and still wearing his green boots. In fact, the climbers call him “Green Boots” and say he is a landmark for living climbers trying to find their way up the mountain. I might be naïve, but I think that is a little cold—no pun intended.
As it turns out, retrieving a body from Mt. Everest can be a bit expensive. To get the body from Katmandu to some place in the US or Canada might cost as much as $30,000. Frankly, I believe my family would say, “Leave her there. She wanted to climb that mountain–well, she can just spend eternity there. Hell will freeze over before we pay that money to get her home (Again, no pun intended on the freezing thing).”
Surprisingly, my family would not be the only cold-hearted survivors. No, most people leave their loved ones there opting out of the expensive return flight and that is why the mountain trail is literally littered with corpses. As a climber trying to make it to the summit, I would find stepping over frozen popsicle bodies to be a buzz kill. Seeing so many dead bodies cannot be good for morale.
But the dead bodies don’t seem to matter to those who want to climb Everest. It’s no secret that they are there. I think Ghost Hunters International or TAPS International or whoever should investigate the site of these abandoned dead climbers. I would wager that there are a lot of strange occurrences around them. I bet if they made recordings, we would hear ghostly voices whisper things like, “Crap! Now I am Yeti food!” or “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
I guess when it comes down to it, who am I to judge what goes on at the top of Mount Everest when I almost pass out snow tubing in the Poconos? I will respect the climbers– both dead and alive, but I still think the Everest people need to install an elevator just to make that entire climbing the mountain thing a little less tricky.