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Dead Sherpa Found on Khumbu Glacier
May 17, 1997
By Liesl Clark

What remains of the body lies on the slowly melting surface of the Khumbu Glacier, amidst rising blue ice pinnacles. "We're almost certain it's the body of a Sherpa from the 1982 Canadian Everest Expedition where some of the members were caught in an avalanche in the Khumbu Icefall," explains Howard Donner.

Just 300 yards from our Base Camp, frozen in the ice, human bones and clothing Boot with sock in snow are strewn about on the smooth ice surface. A black synthetic inner boot marks the spot, and skeletal bones from the foot remain in the brown wool sock that's still in place inside the boot. "There's an obviously human femur which is the large bone of the upper leg (and the largest bone in the human body) and there's an intact tibia fibula which appears shorter than one would expect on a Western climber. This suggests that these are the bones of a Sherpa. The windbreaker that the climber was wearing has a "Made in Canada" label and also has velcro fasteners which dates the garment from the 60s or later," continues Howard.

Bodies periodically surface in the ever-churning Khumbu Glacier that moves some 200 feet per year. And for us, the presence of the bones is a reminder of the dangerous nature of the fragile and exposed Icefall that we hear crumbling and roaring at night in its constantly grinding machinations.

The winds seem to be diminishing very slightly as the days continue to add up. We all keep our fingers crossed that weather reports will shine favorably on our team as they prepare to move up to Camp II to assess the damage rendered by the raging jet stream winds.

June 10, 1997: Back Home (27)
May 25, 1997: Climbers Return to Base Camp (26)
May 24, 1997: Descending Toward Base Camp (25)
May 23 PM, 1997: NOVA Climbers Safely Off the Summit (24)
May 23 AM, 1997: NOVA Climbers Reach the Summit! (23)
    Hear the archived live audio broadcast from the summit
    Read the transcript of the broadcast from the summit
May 22, 1997: Bid for the Summit (22)
May 21, 1997: Helicopter Crashes at Everest Base Camp (21)
May 20, 1997: Moving On Up (20)
May 19, 1997: Poised at Camp II (19)
May 18, 1997: Departing for Camp II (18)
May 17, 1997: Dead Sherpa Found on Khumbu Glacier (17)
May 16, 1997: Jet Stream Winds Blast Camp II (16)
May 13, 1997: Receiving News from the North Side (15)
    May 13, 1997: RealAudio Interview with David Breashears
May 11, 1997: Five Climbers Presumed Dead on the North Side (14)
May 10, 1997: The Waiting Game (13)
May 9, 1997: Pulmonary Edema Evacuation from Base Camp (12)
May 8, 1997: A Hasty Retreat to Base Camp (11)
May 7, 1997: Sherpa Falls To His Death On The Lhotse Face (10)
May 6, 1997: Spin: A Passenger to the Summit (9)
May 5, 1997: Delayed at Advance Base Camp (8)
May 4, 1997: NOVA Climbers Leave Base Camp for Their Summit Attempt (7)
May 1, 1997: NOVA Team Prepares for Summit Attempt (6)
April 26, 1997: Indonesian Expedition First to Summit in 1997 (5)
April 23, 1997: Expedition Leader Dies at Everest Base Camp (4)
April 22, 1997: Japanese Expedition Pulls Out (3)
April 16, 1997: Traffic Reports on Everest (2)
April 14, 1997: Rescue Season Begins (1)



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