News & Opinion | March 22, 2019 5:00 am

Melting Everest Glaciers Creates “Herculean Task” of Retrieving Dead Bodies

More than 200 people have died on the world's highest mountain since 1922.

Four More Bodies Found on Mount Everest Raising Month's Death Toll to 10
A photo of Mount Everest taken on May 4, 2017 (Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images)

Thanks to melting ice and snow on Mount Everest, dead bodies are littering the hiking trail.

Over 200 climbers have met their end while trekking up the world’s highest mountain, but no one could find or was able to bring their bodies back down — until now.

“Due to the impact of climate change and global warming, snow and glaciers are fast melting and dead bodies are increasingly being exposed and discovered by climbers,” Ang Tshering Sherpa, Nepal Mountaineering Association’s former president, told CNN.

Sherpa’s company along has brought down seven dead bodies from Everest, some date back to the 1970s.

Unfortunately, according to Sherpa, surrounding governments are not addressing the issue. “We have not seen the government taking any responsibility,” he said. They are however, closing the base camp at Everest because tourists keep trashing the place.

Still, Sherpa and his fellow mountaineers will continue to do what they can when they happen upon a thawing corpse. “Most of the dead bodies we bring to the towns, but those we can’t bring down we respect by saying prayers for them and covering them with rock or snow.”

The most dangerous recovery occurred at 8,700 meters, near the peak.

“The body weighed 150kg [23.6 stone] and it had to be recovered from a difficult place at that altitude. It was a Herculean task,” he said.