(TibetanReview.net, Jan24’19) – China said Jan 23 that it had found 16 corpses so far of people who had died while attempting to climb Mt Everest, which straddles the border between Nepal and Tibet. The report came after China announced Jan 21 that it will cut the number of climbers permitted to attempt to scale the world’s highest peak from the north by a third this year as a part of plans for a major cleanup operation.
“So far we’ve located 16 corpses along the climbing route on the north side,” China’s official Xinhua news agency Jan 23 quoted Dechen Udrup, from Tibet’s Mountaineering Association, as saying.
He has said recent climbers who scaled Mt Qomolangma had provided reliable information on the locations of those corpses.
The association has spoken of trying to reach the victims’ families through foreign climbing agencies since last year, adding some bodies were too old to be identified.
The China Mountaineering Team (Tibet), established in Lhasa the week before, has said it will retrieve and dispose of the bodies “in a respectful manner”.
“First of all, we will select three or four spots on the north slope to place the remains,” Nyima Tsering, captain of the China Mountaineering Team (Tibet), ha said. “Where possible, we will move them downhill collectively.”
The report said the bodies will be disposed of in the Himalayan mountain region itself. It said a widely accepted way of disposal has been to wrap the corpses and then push them into a crevasse or off a steep slope. It added that they may also be covered with rocks to form a grave-like mound.
This has been described as the first collective effort to deal with the remains of mountaineers.