Green Boots

green boots

Green Boots is the name given to the corpse of Indian climber Tsewang Paljor (1968 – 1996) on the North face route of Mount Everest. There is little doubt that the body is that of Paljor, who was wearing green Koflach boots on the day he and two others apparently summited. On the way down, he fell victim to exposure in the storm of 10 May 1996 that killed seven others. Since the cave his corpse lies in is on the popular northern route, his body is encountered frequently and came to be known as ‘Green Boots.’

An area along the northeast route to the summit has earned the unassuming nickname of ‘Rainbow Valley,’ simply because of the multicolored down jackets of the numerous corpses littering the hillside. In the harsh conditions of lethal altitudes, corpses can remain for decades, some appearing frozen in time with climbing gear intact. Despite the snow and ice, Everest is as dry as a desert and the sun and wind quickly mummify human remains. In the 56 years since the first men in history reached the top, 216 people have died and 150 bodies have never been, and likely can never be, recovered. They are all still there, and located, almost without exception, in the Death Zone, where oxygen is only one third of the sea level value.

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