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Everest clean-up mission recovers Swiss body

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Everest clean-up mission recovers Swiss body

Post  Guest on Wed 19 May - 10:44

Everest clean-up mission recovers Swiss body
Tuesday, 11 May 2010 16:45
A team of 20 Sherpas on a clean-up mission of Mount Everest has brought back the body of a Swiss climber who died on the mountain in 2008.

The Sherpas left for Mount Everest in late April to collect rubbish left behind by climbers and retrieve bodies of victims of the mountain's 'death zone' above 8,000m, where oxygen levels are a third of those at sea level.

Coordinator Chakra Karki wrote on the Extreme Everest Expedition blog that the team had set up two camps - at 6,065m and 6,500m - and had begun collecting rubbish that will be brought down and put on display at base camp.

They have also achieved one of their 'primary goals' of locating the body of Swiss climber Gianni Goltz, who died while attempting to climb the mountain without oxygen.

'Eight Sherpas have dug out the body from under the snow of Swiss climber Gianni Goltz and have brought his body down from the South Col to Camp 2,' Mr Karki wrote.

Other corpses on Everest include those of New Zealander Rob Hall and American Scott Fischer, who were guides on the mountain during the infamous 1996 disaster described in the best-selling book 'Into Thin Air'.

Since 1953, there have been 300 deaths on Everest, according to Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

Many bodies have been brought down, but those above 8,000m have generally been left to the elements, their bodies preserved by the freezing temperatures.

The priority of the Sherpas had been the death zone above 8,000m but Mr Karki said that large quantities of rubbish had already been collected around 6,000m.

There is no definitive figure on how much rubbish has been left on the mountain, but the debris of 50 years of climbing has given Everest the name of the world's highest dumpster.

As well as oxygen canisters, the detritus includes food containers, discarded tents, ropes and backpacks, all of which will be put on display in an exhibition at Everest base camp.

'This real-time garbage exhibition will also force climbers to confront the ever-growing mound of leftovers,' wrote Mr Karki.
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