Sunday, April 14, 2019

Mount Everest’s Frozen Dead, Part ll

Mount Everest
In Part l of this post, I talk about why there are so many bodies left on Mt. Everest and the reasons why climbers die on this mountain.

To attempt this climb is precarious, one out of every ten mountaineers die. Bodies are left on this mountain because to retrieve them is almost impossible.

Because of this, Everest is a graveyard for hundreds of climbers who died trying to reach the summit or who died on the way back down.

Without proper burial, it is not surprising that some of the deceased haunt the living. Some stories told about these ghostly climbers are exaggerated, but others sound authentic.

The reader must decide if the following stories are true or not.

Pemba Dorje who is a Nepali guide, or Sherpa, has seen “dark shadows” on Everest. He feels these shadows are the spirits of climbers who have died on the mountain.

In 2004, during an ascent, he paused near a mound of rocks, near the summit. He saw several of these dark spirits walking toward him. They had their hands out and were pleading for food.

Community near Everest
Mohan Singh lives in Bernini, a village near Everest. He was out chopping wood in the winter of 2009 when a man unknown to him approached.

The sky suddenly turned black and this man, dressed in mountaineer clothes, demanded to know why he was chopping down trees. The stranger reached for Singh, but his hand went right through the Napali’s body. This convinced Mahan that he was a ghost.

He had a high fever after this encounter, so he called in a Hindu Priest. This priest performed an exorcism by killing a goat. Singh states this worked.

One of the earliest sightings happened in 1933. Frank Smyth felt that he was not alone as he descended from Everest’s Death Zone. * 

When he stopped for a break, another climber approached him and sat down. Frank took his mint cake and offered half to this other climber, but he was no longer there.

Tents on Everest
In 1975, Dougal Haston and Doug Scott state that one night on Everest they had a “third climber” appear in their camp out of nowhere. The two were trying to forge a new trail to the summit at the time—so they were not on the main route.

This third man helped them throughout the night, offering encouragement and suggestions for their survival.

The next morning he was gone.

One of the oddest stories is about a snowboarder. Marco Siffredi was determined to snowboard down one of Everest’s slopes.

Here is Siffredi snowboarding on the summit in
a previous attempt.
He and a Sherpa friend, Phurba Tashi and several other Sherpas arranged to climb Everest off-season when there would be more snow.

It took the team twelve hours to reach the top. Even though Siffredi was tired, a storm was moving in, and there was too much snow, Siffredi told the rest of the men, he was going to attempt it.

This was the last time they saw him alive. Later the next day the team was at a lower camp when they looked up and saw a figure gliding down a slope. This slope was miles across from where Siffredi had headed.

The team went back up, but they found no tracks in the snow where they had seen this figure descending.

Since several climbers claim to have seen Siffredi’s ghost happily gliding down Everest’s slopes on his snowboard.

In Part l, I give an overview of why so many climbers die on Mount Everest.

*  Warning there are photographs of dead bodies in Part l.

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