Everest: a dangerous place for many reasons

I've previously blogged this New Statesman article which has an interesting idea by the writer Jan Morris.
She suggests that Everest should not be climbed anymore, but should become a memorial and a sacred space, which in the words of Jan is:
"left alone there in its ethereal majesty, out of bounds to all human beings and never to be violated again by the crudities of fame, profit, sectarian rivalry or national pride".

Given the income that is generated from climbing permits, and the employment opportunities for the local Sherpa people this seems unlikely. In the 'death zone', there is a real chance that the human body is going to be affected in a way that cannot be predicted, and the end result of that is that a high percentage of those who attempt to climb Everest perish, and there is little chance of their bodies being recovered due to the difficulty of getting to them. There are around 200 bodies on Everest apparently.

This story refers to a body known by many climbers as 'green boots'

I've written before about the use of particular bodies as signposts by climbers, and also the problems of removing the bodies from the mountain. There was also the controversy surrounding the search for, and images that were taken of, George Mallory.

Matt Podbury has created an excellent scheme of work on Everest at GeographyPods: called 8850, which I make use of each year. This is well worth seeking out and seeing how it might fit with your existing plans.

The most recent Everest climbing season was as deadly as ever. There were also various conflicting reports over the disappearance of the famous Hillary step: one of the final obstacles for climbers attempting to reach the summit.
This BBC article describes the disappearance of oxygen bottles from high altitude camps, which could be another issue to investigate: the ethics of climbing and behaviour are interesting in such places.

It's also another chance to remind you to get a copy of 'Thin Air' by Michelle Paver too - a wonderful ghost story based on Mallory and Irvine's ascent...

And finally, I can't have a post on Everest without including the obligatory link to the video of the track by Public Service Broadcasting...