Mount Everest

A monument to greed, or perhaps a tomb, or, even further back, a holy mountain, desecrated again and again until all meaning was lost.


Mount Everest is a mountain on the border of Nepal and Tibet. It is, with snow, 8,848.86 meters tall, or approximately 29,031 feet, making it the highest peak in the world. As of November 2022, 310 known people have died there, although it's probably more because the mountain still existed before it was 'discovered' in 1852. in Nepal, it is called Sagarmāthā, meaning 'the head in the great blue sky'. in Tibetan, it's called Qomolangma, or 'holy mother'. The name 'Mount Everest' comes from sir George Everest, a former Surveyor General of India (Basically, the guy in charge of mapping the country and surveying the land. This position still exists to this day). This man himself didn't think this was a good idea, as he believed that the local people would not be able to pronounce it. In the end, he never even saw the mountain that was named after him.

Regardless, whatever you may call it the mountain still exists. Due to its height people have been climbing the mountain since way back in 1922. Reaching the peak of the mountain is the 'ultimate challenge' for a lot of people. It is incredibly dangerous, and near the top of the mountain the wind can blow at 320 KM/H. Many people tried to get to the top, but the first recorded people to make it (and survive) were Sir Edmund Percival Hillary and the sherpa (ethnic population of Tibet, known most famously for frequently working as guides for those climbing mountains) Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Before this, the person most likely to have made it to the top was George Mallory, who died near the top of the mountain. Nobody knows if he made it to the top or not so Hillary is seen as the first person to 'officially' make it. Nowadays, technology has improved so much (think oxygen, GPS, etc) that every year more than five hundred people make it to the top.

If you're lost, just follow the trail of corpses!

George Mallory died in 1924. He'd been on Everest before, in 1922, as part of an official British expedition. However, this expedition ended in death-- an avalanche killed seven members of the expedition. Mallory did not see this as an omen of death, however, and returned to Everest two years later. They attempted to climb thrice-- with the third time consisting of Mallory and a man named Andrew Irvine. They put down their camp near the summit, and the last person to see them alive was Noel Odell, who watched them disappear into the clouds and towards the summit. Back at the camp (camp VI, to be exact) Noel found the tents belonging to the pair but without any note of when they'd started towards the top of the mountain or when they'd come back. After four days of waiting without seeing either of them, Odell tried once to follow their route to find them, but it was no use, and he sent out the sign that meant there had been a death on the mountain.

George Mallory's body wasn't found until the year 1999. Irvine's body was never found.

Maurice Wilson was an absolute madlad who, after having read the story of Mallory and Irvine, thought 'hey, I could do that!' and attempted to reach the top of Mount Everest even though everyone in his life told him not to. After returning from fighting in World War 1, he had trouble readjusting to civilian life after he'd been injured in battle. He got into mysticism, saying that a mysterious man taught him to cleanse himself by fasting and meditating for one hundred days straight, although some people believe this man never existed. Regardless, this newfound mysticism led Maurice to believe that climbing Everest was his cosmic duty. He set about getting his pilot's license (he was a terrible student, and took ages getting his permit. His instructor thought he would never fly to India and survive), bought a small plane (Named the 'Ever Wrest'. Ha ha.) and left for Everest without any specialized equipment because he believed that just by looking at the mountain he knew exactly what he needed.

He did make it to the mountain eventually, where he climbed on his own and kept a diary, the biggest source of information on how his trip went. Apparently he twisted his ankle, his wounds from the war hurt him badly while climbing, and the weather had a bad effect on him. He gradually got sicker and sicker, and eventually he didn't even get out of bed anymore, all while still in one of the base camps on the mountain. His last diary entry read, 'Off again, gorgeous day.' His body wasn't found until a year later, which is when they found his diary and buried his body in a crevasse. It's unknown if the bodies below are his-- I doubt it, honestly, but these were both labeled as Maurice Wilson by two separate websites so I thought I'd include them regardless.

Hannelore Schmatz was the fourth woman to ever get to the top of Mount Everest. Most famously, however, she was the first ever woman to die on Mount Everest. (not the best achievement to get, but, as my friend pointed out, it would be worse if your biggest achievement in life was to be the third woman to die on Everest. She was a German woman who climbed the mountain with her husband, Gerhard. Hannelore died along with an American who was on her expedition, Ray Genet, but his body was lost. Hannelore's was lost too, but more recent, allowing for a picture to be taken. Her corpse was described to look lifelike, like she was only briefly resting. As she died, she told a sherpa she needed water. After her death, the sherpa remained with her, which caused most of his fingers and toes to freeze off. While her body was still there, Arne Næss Jr. described her with hair "waving in each gust of wind. [...] She summited, but died descending. Yet it feels as if she follows me with her eyes as I pass by. Her presence reminds me that we are here on the conditions of the mountain."

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