As many as 300 bodies of climbers who died on Mount Everest could soon emerge as warm weather melts glaciers.
Their remains have been buried buried in ice and snow, some for many years, serving as ghoulish landmarks for the number of people who have died trying to climb the world’s largest mountain.
Some of the bodies are thought to have lain on the mountain for decades, well-preserved by the freezing conditions on the 29,000-ft mountain.
‘Because of global warming, the ice sheet and glaciers are fast melting and the dead bodies that remained buried all these years are now becoming exposed,’ said Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association.
‘One of the most challenging recoveries was from the height of 8,700m, near the summit.
‘The body was totally frozen and weighed 150kg, and it had to be recovered from a difficult place at that altitude.’
Nearly 300 people have died on the mountain since the first attempt – and more than 4,800 have successfully climbed Mount Everest.
One government officer who worked as a liaison officer on Everest told the BBC: ‘I myself have retrieved around 10 dead bodies in recent years from different locations on Everest and clearly more and more of them are emerging now.’
The death toll is said to be so high, that Nepalese authorities have banned solo climbers from trying to scale the mountain.
Bodies have begun to be exposed on locations on the mountain, including Camp 1 and Camp 4.
‘Hands and legs of dead bodies have appeared at the base camp as well in the last few years,’ said another official.
‘We have noticed that the ice level at and around the base camp has been going down, and that is why the bodies are becoming exposed.’
Experts say it cost up to some £50,000 to bring down dead bodies from the mountain.
‘One of the most challenging recoveries was from the height of 8,700m, near the summit,’ added Ang Tshering Sherpa.
‘The body was totally frozen and weighed 150kg and it had to be recovered from a difficult place at that altitude.’