I have an unhealthy fascination with Mount Everest. For some reason (which I can’t really explain) I am really drawn to it. I have literally dreamed of climbing it on several occasions. I would just love to go there. Maybe it has something to do with a drive to achieve something so amazing.
However, Everest is an extremely dangerous place. Extreme cold, lack of oxygen, unpredictable weather, dangerous terrain, avalanches, falling rocks – it is easy to die on Everest. My wise fiancé has already told me that any attempt to climb Everest will result in immediate divorce. It is just too expensive and risky to actually do.
For instance, last year (2007) was a pretty good year on Everest: 600+ people made it up and only 6 died. That is a 1% death-summit ratio which is well below the historic 10% ratio. If someone made me an offer – you can spend $60,000 and several months, you might make it to the top, but there is a 1% chance you will die… I just don’t think a rational person can really take that.
Anyway, another largely unknown thing about Everest is that the dead normally stay up there. The effort to get the bodies down is not feasible so apparently there are several corpses along the way which climbers must move past. National Geographic have this little video about an Australian climber and photographer who got the picture above.
Worth a look – especially for those of us who feel strongly drawn to Everest.