Everest horror discovery as bodies emerge from snow and ice melts | World | News

Five frozen bodies have been retrieved around Mount Everest as thinning snow and ice expose the bodies of hundreds of climbers who have died attempting to scale the world’s highest mountain.

A search team has been scaling the 29,032-foot Himalayan peak to retrieve the corpses of lost mountaineers, with five unidentified climbers brought down from the treacherous mountain range this year.

A team of 12 military personnel and 18 climbers working as part of Nepal’s mountain clean-up campaign on Everest and adjoining peaks Lhotse and Nuptse retrieved the doomed adventurers – including one that was just skeletal remains by the time it was found.

“Because of the effects of global warming, (the bodies and trash) are becoming more visible as the snow cover thins,” Aditya Karki, an officer in Nepal’s army who led the search, told AFP.

Rescuers spent hours chipping away ice with axes and even pouring boiling water on the ice to aid the search, the news agency reports.

Over 300 people have lost their lives on the mountain since expeditions began in the 1920s.

Eight people have been lost just in this season, and the bodies of many others remain hidden on the precipitous trail.

Some of those who perished continue to be covered by a blanket of snow, while others are thought to have been swallowed by deep crevasses.

Others remain in sight and have become grim reminders of the dangers facing climbers. Karki says the sight of them has a profound psychological effect on people taking on the challenge.

He said: “People believe that they are entering a divine space when they climb mountains, but if they see dead bodies on the way up, it can have a negative effect.”

Many were lost in the so-called “death zone,” where low oxygen levels and thin air make altitude sickness more likely.

Climbers have to be insured, but attempts to save them or recover their bodies are highly dangerous for the teams that look for them.

One of the bodies brought down was encased up to its torse in ice and took 11 hours to prize from the mountainside.

Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa, who led the body retrieval expedition, said the work is “extremely difficult,” adding: “Getting the body out is one part, bringing it down is another challenge.”

The dangerous retrieval missions are a controversial subject among the climbing community, as it costs thousands of pounds and eight people are needed to bring down a body.

But Karki inisists the efforts are important: “We have to bring them back as much as possible. If we keep leaving them behind, our mountains will turn into a graveyard.”

Nepal’s tourism department said two bodies have been preliminarily identified but the results of “detailed tests” are needed for final confirmation.

The bodies the team brought back are now in the capital Kathmandu, and those that can’t be IDed are likely to be eventually cremated.

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