People Who Never Made It Back from Mount Everest

Some untold stories, unidentified bodies lies at the world’s highest mountain; Mount Everest. Hundreds and thousands of people aspire to reach at the top of the world, but only few makes it to the top and back. People climbing up there have to face the harsh climate and dangerous terrain of the mountain.


The top portion of the mountain i.e., above 26,000 feet is called as the “death zone”. At that point, the barometric pressure causes one’s weight to feel about ten times heavier and the oxygen level is only one-third of what they are at sea level. In the death zone, the human body uses oxygen faster than it can replenished, as a result of which, the human body cannot acclimatize.

Many deaths in high-altitude mountaineering have been caused due to either frostbite, ice collapse, loss of vital functions or loss of consciousness and unwise decisions made under physical weakening or stress. 1977 was the only last year without known deaths as only two people reached the summit.


Millions of people have followed the footsteps of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay who scaled the summit for the first time. However, some of them, never left the mountain. Mountaineers climbing the Mount Everest are advised to leave the dead where they died, so the corpses remain to spend eternity on the mountain top.

Here is the list of some people who never made it back from the Mount Everest

1. Green Boots


It is one of the famous corpse as it is passed by almost every climber reaching at the death zone. The identity of Green Boots is believed to be of an Indian climber, Tsewang Paljor who died in the year 1996. The body became a landmark to know how close the climber is to summit.

He is famous as “Green Boots” because he has been wearing neon colored boots during the time of his death. Around 80% of the climbers take a rest at the shelter where Green Boots is and it is difficult to miss his sight.

2. George Mallory


Along with his team, he aspired to become the first person to be at the top of the Mount Everest. After being separated with his team, during a massive storm he fell to his death. Only after 75 years, he body was discovered and his skin was in a good condition. He also had a big hole in his forehead caused by the deadly fall.

3. David Sharp


He attempted to climb the Everest without a team or any oxygen. He did climb the summit but on his way back he suffered from severe frostbite and could not stand properly. With his knees on his chest, he rested in the same cave as that of green boots. Many climbers ignored him as they mistook him as green boots while some did attempt to help him, but he was already deceased by then.

4. Peter Kinloch


The 28-year old did reach the summit of Mount Everest; it was only on his way back that he started to show symptoms of high altitude cerebral edema, the swelling of brain that occurs at a high altitude and he eventually went blind.

He was helped for 12 hours by three Sherpas and a team leader who gave him oxygen and medicine and tried to bring him down the mountain. But sadly, the weather got worse and at about 28000 feet, they were forced to abandon him where he eventually died.

5. Hannelore Schmatz


She was the first woman and the first German to die on the Mount Everest. Mostly known as “the German woman”, she successfully made it to top of the Everest. It was only while returning that she and her teammates decided to camp at the death zone. They camped only on their sleeping bags, without any tents and they were hit by a dangerous snowstorm during the night causing her death.

Many climbers on their way to the top have seen her with her eyes wide open and leaning against her trekking bag.

6. Dan Fredinburg


Fredinburg is the founder of Google adventure team and to enable a Street View trek to base camp, he was on an expedition to the Everest. He died because of a head injury in the avalanche triggered by an earthquake on the 25th of April 2015. Many attempts have already been made by Google to retrieve the body, all remaining unsuccessful.

7. Francys Arsentiev


Arsentiev became the first American women to climb the Mount Everest without any supplemental oxygen. It was only on her way down from the summit, she was frostbitten, oxygen deprived that led to her death. She climbed the Everest up with her husband Sergei, and on their way down they got separated. Later she was found by other climbers who tried to save her but failed in doing so.

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Written by Rashmi Lohia

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