Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, is a dream destination for passionate mountaineers and adventurers around the globe. However, the deadly conditions on the highest peak have also turned it into a graveyard, with over 200 corpses lying across different points along the climb.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Green Boots is the nickname given to the unidentified body of a climber that has been a grim landmark on the way up to Mount Everest’s summit since 1996.

He is believed to have died due to exhaustion or exposure to the extreme weather conditions during the 1996 Mount Everest disaster that claimed 8 lives in a single day.

This article will take a deeper look at who Green Boots might have been, the clues gathered so far about his identity, his cause of death during the infamous 1996 disaster on Everest, and why his body has remained on the mountain for over 25 years now.

The Gruesome Sight of Green Boots on the Northeast Ridge Route

One of the most haunting sights on Mount Everest’s Northeast Ridge Route is the presence of a corpse known as “Green Boots.” The name comes from the green-tinted mountaineering boots worn by the deceased climber.

This tragic figure has become an infamous landmark for climbers attempting to conquer the world’s highest peak.

First Sightings in 1996 During the Mount Everest Disaster

The first documented sightings of Green Boots date back to the fateful year of 1996, which saw one of the deadliest climbing seasons on Mount Everest. The disaster was caused by a combination of factors, including a sudden storm and overcrowding on the mountain.

During this ill-fated expedition, several climbers lost their lives, and Green Boots was one of them.

Green Boots was later identified as an Indian climber named Tsewang Samanla. He was a member of an Indo-Tibetan Border Police team attempting to summit Everest. Unfortunately, he succumbed to exhaustion and cold temperatures while descending from the summit.

Why Green Boots’ Body Remained on the Mountain

One may wonder why Green Boots’ body has remained on the mountain for over two decades. The answer lies in the extreme conditions and logistical challenges of Mount Everest. Recovering bodies from the mountain is extremely difficult and dangerous, often requiring specialized teams and equipment.

Additionally, due to the high altitude and freezing temperatures, corpses on Mount Everest do not decompose as they would in a lower-altitude environment. Instead, they become mummified, preserving their remains for years to come.

Furthermore, removing a body from the mountain is not only physically demanding but also emotionally challenging for the Sherpa guides and mountaineers involved. The Nepalese government has strict regulations regarding the removal of bodies from Everest, prioritizing the safety of the living climbers over the deceased.

Despite the controversy and ethical concerns surrounding the presence of Green Boots on Mount Everest, it serves as a stark reminder of the risks and sacrifices involved in mountaineering. It stands as a somber testament to the price some adventurers pay in their pursuit of conquering the highest peaks on Earth.

Theories Behind Green Boots’ Identity and Life

Speculations Based on Clothing and Equipment

The identity of the climber known as Green Boots, who tragically lost his life on Mount Everest, has been the subject of much speculation and debate among mountaineering enthusiasts. One theory suggests that his clothing and equipment provide clues about his background.

Green Boots was wearing a pair of green insulated boots, which were believed to be of military origin. Some speculate that he may have been a soldier or a member of a military expedition.

Another piece of equipment that has raised questions is the oxygen cylinder found near Green Boots’ body. It was an older model, no longer in use at the time of his climb. This has led to speculation that he may have been attempting the ascent without supplementary oxygen, which is an incredibly dangerous feat.

The combination of the green boots and the outdated oxygen cylinder has fueled theories about Green Boots being an experienced climber who may have taken unnecessary risks.

The Indian Climber Theory

One theory that has gained traction is the Indian climber theory. According to this speculation, Green Boots was Tsewang Samanla, an Indian mountaineer who went missing on Everest in 1996. Samanla was part of an Indo-Tibetan Border Police team attempting to summit the mountain.

His disappearance left his team in shock and led to a massive search and rescue operation. The theory suggests that Green Boots’ clothing and equipment match Samanla’s description, and his location on the mountain aligns with where Samanla was last seen.

While this theory provides a possible explanation for Green Boots’ identity, it is important to note that conclusive evidence has not been found to confirm this speculation. The mystery surrounding Green Boots continues to captivate climbers and researchers alike.

The American or European Climber Theory

Another theory proposes that Green Boots may have been an American or European climber. This speculation is based on the assumption that climbers from these regions typically wear green-colored boots, similar to the ones found on Green Boots’ feet.

Furthermore, the use of older oxygen equipment suggests a climber who may have been more experienced or attempting a more challenging route.

However, without concrete evidence or any missing climbers matching Green Boots’ description, this theory remains purely speculative. The true identity of Green Boots and the circumstances surrounding his death on Mount Everest may never be definitively known.

What Caused Green Boots’ Death on Everest in 1996?

The 1996 Mount Everest Disaster

The story of Green Boots is intertwined with the tragic events that occurred on Mount Everest in 1996. This year, numerous climbing teams attempted to summit the world’s highest peak, but were caught off-guard by a sudden and severe storm.

The storm, coupled with a range of other factors, led to the deaths of eight climbers, including Green Boots.

The disaster on Everest in 1996 was marked by a series of unfortunate events. Poor weather conditions, overcrowding, and communication breakdowns all played a role in the tragedy. Many climbers were caught in the “death zone,” the area above 26,000 feet where the lack of oxygen and extreme conditions make survival extremely difficult.

Exposure and Exhaustion Near the Summit

Green Boots, whose real name is Tsewang Samanla, was an Indian climber who lost his life near the summit of Everest. He was a member of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) team and was part of an expedition led by Mohinder Singh. Green Boots met his fate while descending from the summit.

The exact circumstances of Green Boots’ death are not entirely clear, but it is believed that he succumbed to exposure and exhaustion. Mount Everest is a harsh and unforgiving environment, where even the most experienced climbers can fall victim to the extreme conditions.

The lack of oxygen, extreme cold, and physical strain can quickly deplete a climber’s energy and impair their judgment.

Green Boots’ body has become a notable landmark on the mountain, as it lies near a cave in a section known as the “Death Zone.” Many climbers pass by his resting place on their way to the summit, serving as a stark reminder of the risks and challenges that come with attempting to conquer Everest.

It is important to remember the tragic story behind Green Boots and the 1996 Mount Everest disaster as a cautionary tale. Climbing Everest is a feat that requires immense preparation, experience, and respect for the mountain.

Understanding the risks and being mindful of the dangers can help climbers make informed decisions and prioritize safety during their ascent.

Why Recovery of Bodies on Everest is So Rare

Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, has claimed the lives of many climbers over the years. The treacherous terrain and brutal weather conditions make it extremely challenging for rescue teams to recover the bodies of those who have perished on the mountain.

This has led to a number of tragic stories, including that of Green Boots, a well-known figure on Everest.

The Treacherous Terrain and Weather Conditions

One of the main reasons why the recovery of bodies on Everest is so rare is the treacherous terrain. The mountain is known for its steep slopes, jagged rocks, and deep crevasses, making it extremely difficult for rescue teams to navigate.

In addition, the extreme weather conditions, including hurricane-force winds and freezing temperatures, further complicate rescue efforts. These factors make it dangerous and often impossible to retrieve the bodies of climbers who have lost their lives on the mountain.

According to statistics from the Himalayan Database, there have been over 300 deaths on Mount Everest since the first ascent in 1953. However, only a fraction of these bodies have been recovered. Many climbers who perish on the mountain become permanent fixtures, serving as grim reminders of the dangers of Everest.

High Costs and Difficulties of Mountaineering Expeditions

Another major obstacle to the recovery of bodies on Everest is the high cost and logistical difficulties of mountaineering expeditions. Climbing Everest is an expensive endeavor, with climbers spending tens of thousands of dollars on permits, equipment, and guides.

The cost of organizing a recovery mission adds another layer of financial burden.

Furthermore, the extreme altitude and harsh conditions at high altitudes make it physically demanding for rescue teams to carry out recovery operations. The lack of oxygen and the risk of avalanches make it a dangerous task that requires experienced climbers and specialized equipment.

Despite these challenges, there have been some successful recovery missions on Everest. In recent years, the Nepalese government has made efforts to clean up the mountain and remove some of the bodies.

However, due to the immense difficulties involved, many bodies remain on the mountain, serving as a somber reminder of the risks and sacrifices associated with climbing Everest.

For more information on the challenges of recovering bodies on Everest, you can visit the Himalayan Database, which provides comprehensive data on mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas.


The identity of Green Boots remains a mystery decades after his death, a symbol of the many intrepid explorers from around the world who lost their lives in the unforgiving heights of Mount Everest. While many questions surround this climber, his tragic death serves as a stark reminder of the thin line between triumph and disaster atop the world’s highest peak.

As interest in Everest climbs rises, perhaps Green Boots’ bones may one day be given dignified rest if more recovery efforts are made by Nepal’s government and mountaineering bodies.

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