Dead Bodies Used as Markers for Mountain Climbers

Mt. Everest is 29,028 feet high, making it the tallest mountain in the world.  I’m sure you have learned about Mt. Everest many times. Of all of those times, one grim fact was probably left out:  over 200 dead bodies are scattered about Mt. Everest and will never be retrieved.  The conditions are too harsh, and climbing the mountain is such a strenuous trek alone that trying to transport a body down the mountain is next to impossible.

The oldest body found on Mt. Everest is that of George Mallory, who fell to his death in 1924. Another victim, Francys Arsentiev, an American climber, was separated from her husband on the mountain and was heard calling for help by Ian Woodall and Cathy O’Dowd.  They did everything they could to help her, a risk on its own, but it was too late.  The O’Dowds climbed the mountain eight years later to give her a proper burial, putting an American flag next to her body and leaving a note from her family with her.  Arsentiev’s husband was later found dead due to lack of oxygen from looking for his wife for so long.

The people who choose to climb Mount Everest know that death is a very real possibility. The dead bodies are actually used to determine how close to the peak climbers are. This may seem disrespectful, but you have to think that these people loved climbing and would be proud to play this role. The bodies on Mt. Everest are greatly respected by the climbers who come across them.

dead bodies 1

The O’Dowds on their way to rescue Francys


dead bodies 2



Francys and husband

-Maddie Dickerson

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