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Dying On Top Of The World

You ever hear that question-and-answer combo—“Why climb a mountain? Because it’s there.”? That’s not how I see it. I’m perfectly happy admiring the majesty of a mountain from the ground, unless there are roads one can drive upon to reach the summit. A lot of people have tried to climb the granddaddy of all mountains, Everest, though. A lot have tried and failed. A few have tried and succeeded. And not a small number—some 200 people—have tried and perished in the attempt. Their bodies were left there on the mountain, becoming buried under ice and snow. These days, thanks to global warming, more and more of those bodies are being exposed and are thawing out. Frozen hands are seen poking up from melting snow like the hands of some revenant clawing its way free from the grave. This melting is necessitating the removal of those bodies due to concerns over sanitation and disease prevention.

The most famous, or infamous, of Everest’s permanent residents is nicknamed “Green Boots.” His real name while alive may have been Tsewang Paljor. (He has not been officially identified.) For years his body has served as a familiar marker for climbers. He currently reposes in a rocky alcove at 27,900 feet.

TheCheezman • May 12, 2019

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