Mount Everest – The Highest Burial Ground in the World

Mount Everest

Mount Everest is about 8.9 kilometers above sea level – and it is one of the mountains of the range Himalayas – which lies on the frontiers of Tibet and Nepal, in the north of India. There has been much dispute regarding the exact height of the mountain – in a survey by the British government in the mid 1800’s, the height was said to be 29,002 feet, but in a 1954 survey by the Indian government, the height was said to be 29,029 feet. Today, most people consider it to be 29,131 feet high.

Scaling this mountain is definitely not easy – mountaineers have to deal with crevasses, avalanches, and strong winds that can literally blow a person away. Plus, there is also thin air and steepness to deal with. No wonder, then, that many ambitious mountaineers perish along the way, their accompanying mountaineers have to leave the dead body behind, and this has made the Mount Everest the highest burial ground in the world. It’s common knowledge that Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world, but now it has gone down in history for also being the highest burial ground in the world. You would be surprised to know that at least 175 mountaineers have lost their lives on this mountain, and ended up being buried there.

Photo by Tartarin2009

Of course it doesn’t take much to figure out that these unlucky people died of perilous conditions of cold and low pressure of air. Imagine the physical difficulties that they went through, and eventually succumbed to. Many ambitious mountaineers tried to scale the peak, but ended up dying along the way, thus Mount Everest became their place of burial, and this therefore makes the Everest the highest burial ground in the world.

A report says that at least 41 mountaineers were buried in the northern part of the Everest. Two main causes of death during mountaineering are hypothermia, and a lack of oxygen. But of course climbing accidents must also be taken into account. For instance, David Brash –a well known mountaineer, says that if any particular mountaineer dies along the summit, the other members would find it really hard to descend with his body. That is why the members sometimes need to leave the body behind, choosing to bury it in the snow in Mount Everest.

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When David had gone climbing Mount Everest with a 13 member team, one Taiwanese (who was part of their group) died of hypothermia. Of course they tried to bring his body back with them, but that proved impossible, so they had to bury him there. In fact, David says that many kinds of causes, not just hypothermia and lack of oxygen, can contribute to a mountaineer dying (and consequently having to be buried) on Mount Everest.

Did you know that in 1996, there was an ice storm that surrounded an eight-member team of mountaineers? None of them survived. Not a single one lived, all of them died up there, and they are part of the many who have been buried on Mount Everest.

Photo by mikemellinger

However, the truth is that despite many impossible and difficulties, some mountaineers are successful in bringing back the bodies of their dead companies. But that’s very rare, and happens only once in a blue moon. The majority of people who die on Mount Everest, end up having to be buried there. So as the number of people to climb the famous mountain slowly increases, so too, does the number of people who die there from perilous circumstances – they are mostly buried there without graves, and thereby denied a sense of identity or even a proper funeral.

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