Deliverance

I totally get, if you’re an avid mountain climber, why you’d want to attempt to summit Mt. Everest, even though you’d have a good chance of winding up like Green Boots.

Green Boots is the name given to the unidentified corpse of a climber that became a landmark on the main Northwest ridge route of Mount Everest. Though his identity has not been officially confirmed, he is believed to be Tsewang Paljor, an Indian climber who died on Mount Everest in 1996.” [Wikipedia]

Green Boots is so named because the frozen corpse was wearing green boots when he expired at a key juncture on the path to the summit and froze solid in place. Climbers now use him as a route marker, as when they radio “just passed Green Boots and are on way to the summit“. Frozen bodies don’t decompose in the frigid and thin air on Everest, so Green Boots is likely there forever. His is a distinctive kind of immortality.

Getting a frozen corpse down from the summit, or anywhere high up on the ascent, is very difficult and dangerous and expensive. But sometimes families want, or need, recovery. If it’s possible and someone is willing to pay, deliverance can happen.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/18/sports/everest-deaths.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=span-ab-top-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

I have to say, after reading this article, that nothing would entice me to make the attempt to climb Mt. Everest. Freezing to death or dying of pulmonary edema or having my head smashed by a dislodged rock or block of ice or falling into a crevasse, then becoming wedded to the icy ground like a human ice cube, having to be chipped out and then dragged down the mountain, just doesn’t sound dignified.

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