As of 2014, over 200 of the climbers who have attempted to scale Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world at approximately 29,029 feet (8,848 m,) have not survived. These fallen hikers’ bodies are used as landmarks on Everest for other climbers. The corpses are typically left on the mountain because it would be too dangerous to attempt to move them down off the mountain. Due to the freezing temperatures, many of the bodies of the fallen hikers are well-preserved in the ice and snow. Climbers have died of falls, freezing temperatures, avalanches, exhaustion, and altitude sickness.
More about Mount Everest:
- An estimated 90% of those attempting to scale Mount Everest are inexperienced climbers accompanied by guides.
- The first documented attempt to climb Everest was by British schoolteacher George Mallory in 1921, but no one was successful until 1953 when Edmond Hillary, a beekeeper from New Zealand and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay scaled the mountain.
- The area of Everest above 26,000 feet (7,924 m) is referred to as “the death zone” because its oxygen level is just one-third that of sea level.