15 Disturbing Facts Locals Don’t Tell You About the Mount Everest

Climbing to the top of Mt. Everest is a dream for many adventurers. Every year, daring climbers from around the world flock to Nepal and Tibet to attempt the challenging trek to Everest’s frosty peak.

At 29,032 feet, it’s the highest mountain in the world above sea level.

But behind the scenes, there’s a dark side to Everest that local guides don’t advertise to visitors. From creepy discoveries to life-threatening risks, scaling this iconic mountain is way more disturbing than you might think.

Are you ready to look behind the curtain? These 15 crazy facts about the eerie truth of Mt. Everest might make you rethink whether reaching the top is worth the cost.

Image Credits: Andreas Gäbler/Unsplash

1. It’s Littered With Corpses

Over 300 climbers have died trying to reach Everest’s summit. Their frozen bodies are still lying on the mountain, providing a grim warning to others. Some are even used as landmarks to guide climbers.

2. You Walk Over Human Waste

Since there are no toilets at higher elevations, climbers are forced to relieve themselves wherever they can, including directly on the mountain’s slopes and trails used by others. So, if you’re someone who can’t stand this event, you have to think twice before going in this wild adventure.

3. The Air Is Thin and Dangerous

At Everest’s higher camps, the air lacks up to half the oxygen found at sea level. This causes major issues like nausea, fatigue, and mental impairment that increase deadly risks.

4. You Might Get Left to Die

Image Credits: Daniel Jensen/Unsplash

If a climber gets seriously ill or injured far from camp, Sherpas and guides may be forced to abandon them than risk their own lives trying a dangerous rescue. This adventure really costs a life or two.

5. It’s a Crowded Traffic Jam

During peak climbing seasons, hundreds of people are trying to reach the summit at once, leading to severe overcrowding and long delays on Everest’s narrow icy ridges.

6. Frostbite Is Nearly Inevitable

No matter how well you prepare, the extreme cold of minus 20-40°F on Everest causes frostbite to exposed skin in a matter of minutes, resulting in blackened flesh and lost digits.

7. You’ll Battle Altitude Sickness

Image Credits: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Low oxygen at high elevations leads to altitude sickness with symptoms like migraines, vomiting, fatigue, and brain swelling that can become fatal if left untreated.

8. Rules Don’t Apply Up There

Everest exists in a lawless gray zone where Nepal and China don’t have full authority, so climbers can break rules like camping restrictions with little consequence. Here’s a reminder, never go here with your enemy if you want to come back in one piece because thefts and brawls are common in this area.

9. Avalanches Are a Constant Threat

Unpredictable avalanches tumbling down Everest’s slopes have instantly buried and killed over 40 climbers since the 1970s with deadly force and little warning.

10. Your Vision Gets Blurred

Image Credits: Bernard Bertrand/Pexels

The combination of high altitude, cold, and extreme brightness from sun reflecting on snow can distort climbers’ vision, causing whiteouts where they can’t see upcoming crevasses or cliffs.

11. Your Skills May Not Matter

No amount of experience and training can guarantee success or survival on Everest’s harsh slopes. Even some of the most expert climbers have perished attempting the deadly peak.

12. The Snow is Blood-Stained

The final stretch to Everest’s peak is nicknamed the “Death Zone.” It’s so grueling and dangerous that climbers frequently suffer bloody noses, leaving the snow stained red.

13. Brains Can Leak Out of Noses

The severe swelling caused by Everest’s high altitudes can force climbers’ brains to actually start leaking out through their noses in a condition called “Brain Leak.”

Image Credits: PNW Production/Pexels

14. Abandoned Gear Litters the Trails

When exhausted climbers can’t make it any farther, they’re forced to ditch their heavy backpacks, tents, and oxygen tanks. Thousands of pieces of gear now litter the trails.

15. Your Body Starts Eating Itself

The body burns over 20,000 calories reaching the summit. To compensate, it starts metabolizing muscle and bone mass, permanently breaking down the climber’s body.

More On This…

From the gruesome sight of frozen bodies to the dangerous pollution, it’s clear that summiting Everest comes with some very troubling risks and consequences.

Although reaching the peak is still a dream for many brave adventurers, make sure you understand the whole picture before taking on this epic but hazardous challenge.


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Victoria Omololu

Victoria Omololu is a fashionista exploring the world on a budget. She co-founded Only Earthlings in 2023 to show her travels in North America, Europe, Africa, and everywhere else. Victoria loves writing about travel tips, itineraries, packing guides, and taking photography from all over the world.

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