So this is a little off-topic, but I read an article the other week that i haven't been able to shake about the number of people that have died on Everest and whose bodies have never been retrieved (warning, morbid and slightly graphic):
Just a reminder that those little dots are people who are taking a very real risk by attempting to reach the summit. I'm not sure if I'm envious of their drive, or if I think they are absolutely crazy.
I always thought about doing Everest if I could ever afford it. You know, one those idle "I'll do that someday thoughts" we all have.
Once I hit the "I could afford this" point I started researching Everest...read Into Thin Air, Dark Summit, No Shortcuts to the Top, etc., watched every documentary I could get my hands on, even talked with one of the climbers featured on the Discovery series that featured Russel Brice's company.
I've concluded that I'm not interested. I'm not interested in standing in line at the Second Step for hours while my body consumes itself and I burn through the scant amount of oxygen I have. I'm not interested in the very real risk that I may arrive back at Camp IV after a summit attempt to find my O2 and supplies stolen. I'm not interested in seeing the corpses, oxygen bottles, tents, and other detritus cluttering up the mountain.
I'm not condemning those who chose to go or those who help them get there, but I'm out: human behavior has made the idea of summiting Everest unappealing.
Mountaineering is a great time, but I agree with you about Everest. If you want to do something fun, challenging, and not quite so dangerous or commercialized check out climbing 14ers. Climbing all the ones in the state is a common past time in Colorado. They all have varying degrees of difficulty and depending the peak and time of year you may have a beautiful day climb completely alone.
The headline is a bit linkbait-y. A total of about 233 people have died. The Khumbu Icefall at the bottom is one of the most dangerous stretches, since it moves, giant seracs can collapse, etc. Those who died there would probably have been recovered and given a decent burial, or be lost at the bottom of a crevasse. When someone dies and it's not feasible to bring them down, typically at some point someone would bring them off the main trail and give them a decent burial. Others fall into inaccessible locations. Still there are a few bodies that have become landmarks. A longer discussion I saw in response to that widely shared article - http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2012/12/06/bodies-on-everest...