Death in the clouds: The problem with Mount Everest

by Diya M.

Reaching the apex of Mount Everest is a treacherous journey.  Besides the hiking gear and the skill, one needs to face perilous temperatures and menacing heights. Nobukazu Kuriki, a Japanese climber, died on his eighth attempt to climb said mountain. That makes him the third person to pass away there this month.  

At the peak of Mount Everest, there are over 200 dead bodies littering the snow.  This is often called “the death zone” or “death in the clouds.”

“I think the whole attitude towards climbing [Mount] Everest has become rather horrifying,” says Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to ever reach the summit of Mount Everest. “The people just want to get to the top. They don’t give a [heck] for anybody else who may be in distress and it doesn’t impress me at all that they leave someone lying under a rock to die.”  

For the natives living near the mountain, it is extremely difficult to collect the bodies from the top of the mountain. To bring a single body down from the mountain, it takes a team of six people. The body is covered in fabric and attached to a sled by rope. The team brings the body down the mountain so that a helicopter can transfer the body to get cremated.

As people progress further into the future, more and more climbers pass their fellow climbers that are in desperate need of help. The climbers in need may suffer from frostbite or dehydration in the glacial temperatures, but for the climbers passing by, their only goal is to stand at the top.



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