Green boots is without a doubt the most famous dead body on Mount Everest, it is so famous such that climbers use it as a checkpoint on the way up. Yesterday we narrated the tragic story of another famous climber that lost her life while descending the same mountain, Francys Arsentiev, the sleeping beauty of Mount Everest, you can find it here.
Before we continue with this tragic story of a brave young Indian sherpa whose real name is Tsewang Paljor tragically passing away in 1996, you may have some questions lingering in your mind.
Who is he? Is Green Boots’s body still on Mount Everest?
The tragic story of Tsewang Paljor also known as Green Boots
Mount Everest. The tallest mountain on Earth has taken the lives of more than 300 climbers since 1924. Not only does the mountain claim bodies, but it also preserves them. Once the bodies are frozen, they become attached to the mountain and stay there permanently. One of its famous residents is Green Boots, who fell victim to the furious blizzard in Everest’s history in May 1996.
Where is Green Boots located?
Green Boots’ body can be found in a cave at an altitude of 8,500 meters and it has become one of the landmarks for those who head up the mountain from the northern side.
So who is Greenwoods?
Not many know the real story behind his life and what led him to climb Everest. Let’s find out the real story of green boots in in this article.
The unnamed climber’s corpse that became a marker on Mount Everest’s primary Northeast ridge route was dubbed “Green Boots.” Although the man’s identity has not yet been confirmed, it is thought that he is Tsewang Paljor, an Indian climber who perished on Everest in 1996. The green Koflach climbing boots on his feet are where the moniker “Green Boots” first appeared. Up until it was relocated in 2014, all excursions from the north side discovered the body coiled in the limestone alcove cave at 8,500 meters (27,900 feet).
British climber and filmmaker Matt Dickinson captured the first known video footage on Green Boots in May 1996. The video may be seen in the “Summit Fever Brian Blessed Documentary” at minute 42:22. (1996).
The body gained notoriety over time for its location on the north route as well as its connection to David Sharp’s passing. In 2014, members of a Chinese expedition relocated Green Boots to a less noticeable place.
Read also: The tragic story of Francys Arsentiev, the sleeping beauty of Mount Everest
About Tsewang Paljor
Tsewang Paljor is the real name of Green Boots. He grew up in Lakhit but was born on April 10, 1968, in Ladakh, India, a region most renowned for its stunning scenery, clear sky, highest mountain passes, exhilarating adventure pursuits, Buddhist Monasteries, and festivals.
Tsewang Paljor, an Indo-Tibetan Border Police officer, was just 28 years old when he died.
In childhood, he was quiet but also kind and compassionate. He was a shy guy and as the eldest son, he felt pressure to provide for his family, which was struggling to make ends meet. So after completing 10th grade, he dropped out of school to help support his family. He grew up around the mountains in his small village. During that era, girls completed school education while boys would quit midway by 8th grade or so to search for employment and greener pastures. Most of the dropouts, became drivers or joined the tourism industry, or enlisted in the army. Soon after quitting school, he joined Indo-Tibetan Border Police which was formed in 1962 in response to increasing hostilities from China. The men who worked in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police service fully specialized in high-altitude landscapes. During his time on the job, Paljor climbed several peaks.
His mother Tashi Angmo was very supportive of her son’s position at the Indo-Tibetan border Police Service.
Related: David Sharp, the controversial death on Mount Everest
Green Boots’ last climb
In 1996, the Indo-Tibetan border police formed an elite group of climbers to summit Mount Everest on the north side. Tsewang Paljor was picked up as one of the members. He chose not to reveal his true destination to his family, but his family got to know anyway, by chance. His mother begged him not to go on that expedition that would later claim his life, but he told his mother he had to. According to Tashi Angmo, he must have thought if he summited Everest, it would bring benefits for the family. His younger brother-in-law, Namgyal was amongst them at the time when he was due to leave for Everest. He was in Delhi, India, and gave his brother a blessing before telling him goodbye. He was the last family member to see Paljor alive. Apart from Paljor other members of the mission, Tsewang Smanla and Dorje Morup, and deputy leader Harbhajan Singh. Aside from Harbhajan Singh, the other three were Ladakhi. Paljor was young, strong, and experienced, but the risks on Mount Everest present a multitude of ways to take the life of even the most well-prepared and experienced climber. Falls, avalanches, snow storms, hypothermia, and more. Sudden deaths from heart attacks, strokes, irregular heartbeat, asthma, or exacerbation of other pre-existing conditions are not uncommon. And lack of oxygen can trigger acute pulmonary or cerebral edema, life-threatening conditions that occur when blood vessels begin leaking fluid into the lungs or brain. The Indian expedition was well connected on the mountain with a luxurious communal end that all climbers, regardless of their nationality, are welcome to visit.
Commandant Mohinder Singh was leading the team. He selected Paljor to be part of the summit team for his strength and enthusiasm along with seven other climbers from the Indo-Tibetan Police border force including deputy leader Harbhajan Singh. As claimed by Mohinder Singh, Paljor loved to attempt typical rock climbs. He looked like a monkey when he climbed.
His favourite meal was roast chicken and used to sing in his free time. He was always volunteering to take on typical tasks.
Their troubles began on the morning of May 10th and it seems like they woke up on the wrong foot. They were at camp and were to push for the summit at 3:30 am. But due to strong winds and oversleeping, they started out at 8am losing precious time. By 2:30 pm, the team had made significant progress, but the wind had begun to pick up again. Team Leader had given them strict orders to turn around at 2:30 pm or 3 pm, at least so as to make it back to them more safely. Around 2:30 pm Harbhajan Singh was lagging behind his climbing partners who are further up on the mountain. He kept signaling them to stop and turn around, but either they did not see him or ignored him. Frostbitten and exhausted Singh returned alone. At around 3 pm on that afternoon, Singh awaiting news from his team, heard his walkie-talkie ring. It was Smanla who announced that they were pushing for the summit. He reminded them about the turnaround time and told them to return but Smanla insisted that they were just an hour away from the summit and all three were feeling fit. Singh urged them not to be overconfident. He told them that the weather was turning bad, but Smanla shrugged off the warnings and put Paljor on the phone.
The radio then went blank they were probably suffering from summit fewer in an overwhelming desire to reach the summit that cause climbers to go against the safety guidelines. It wasn’t until 5:35 pm that Singh heard from his team. Smanla announced that he, Paljor, and the others were now at the summit. Though Singh again reminded them of the importance of descending immediately, he was himself super excited to call up New Delhi and declare the team’s victory. The celebration began both in New Delhi and at the lower camp. The men had just set a record for the country but the celebration was short-lived. Shortly after Smanla called the weather which had been steadily deteriorating, worsened. A blizzard struck the mountain, blocking everything and snow and wind. Singh kept praying and hoping that his men would come back but they never did. Around 8 pm sick with worry, Singh approached a nearby Japanese commercial climbing team. Two of their climbers Hiroshi and Isaac Shirakawa were at camp 6 and we’re going to push for the summit that night. Singh spoke to the Japanese leader with the help of a Sherpa who translated the conversation and the leader radioed his climbers and reassured saying that they will do all they could to help the stranded Indian climbers near the summit. The two Japanese climbers hit out in the morning after the storm subsided and around 9 am, there were reports that the two climbers had been seen, frostbitten and lying in the snow. Singh listened in shock. Two hours later, the two Japanese climbers and their three Sherpas passed Smanla and Paljor, but did not render any help. The Japanese team later contested this version of nuance. They held a press conference in Japan and issued an official report stating that Hiroshi and Shirakawa had never been informed that the Indian climbers were in any sort of trouble, and while pushing for a summit where they had encountered several climbers and none of them looked as if they were dying.
They also emphasized that above 8000 meters, every climber should be held accountable for his own actions, even on the brink of death. The climbers’ Code of Ethics issued by an international climbing and mountaineering Federation specifies helping someone in trouble has absolute priority over reaching goals we set for ourselves in the mountains. Most take this to heart as saving one life is more important than summiting Everest 100 times. We can always go back and summit but a lost life never comes back.
Paljor met his tragic end after becoming separated from his body in a furious Blizzard with strong winds, he sought refuge from the snowstorm and crawled toward a small cave. He tried to shield himself from the storm but to no avail. He tried making contact until he died. His body went missing in 2014 presumed to be buried or someone might have taken it. It’s believed that somebody actually buried his body with snow and stones upon Paljor’s family’s request. Nobody saw green boots between 2014 and 2017 while climbing from the north side. However, in 2017, it came to be visible again with more rocks surrounding the body. The body is still in the same spot and Green Boots now is a very fine marker that climbers used to gauge how close they are to the summit. Ten years later, Green Boots in the cave became even more famous when a 34-year-old British climber David Sharp passed away in the same cave. There was an outcry in the media about Sharp who was found huddled there. He was climbing alone and succumbed to hypothermia. About 40 climbers passed him that day, but they did not realize he was on the brink of death. They either believed him to be green boots or thought he had already died. By the time people discovered Sharp needed help, it was too late. His body lay there for a year, after which it was removed from the site at the request of his family.
The story of Paljor a.k.a Green Boots tells that on Everest or any other mountain, you have to follow mountain safety guidelines. Don’t be overconfident, and always listen to the mountain guides and know when to turn back. As in Paljor’s case. He and his climbing partners did not listen to their leader and ignored the instructed turnaround time and pushed for the summit. Had they listened to Singh and turned around, they would have been safe and alive. Mountains don’t kill people. People kill themselves out of negligence and arrogance, though sometimes it is just by accident.
How old was Green Boots when he died?
Since Paljor was born in 1968 and died in 1996, he was at a tender age of only 28 years old.
Why did they name him “Green Boots”
Because of the green (Koflach) climbing boots on his feet, he was named “Green Boots.”
List of other famous people that have died on Mount Everest
The famous people who died on Mount Everest are listed in chronological order, with the most well-known individuals at the top of the list. Some of the persons listed below are famous people who died on Mount Everest, while others are just well-known in their field of endeavor. In any case, Mount Everest is mentioned as the official location of death for every person on this list in any public documents. There is information on each famous person who perished on Mount Everest next to their names, including their birthplace and the year they were born.
This list will provide you with all the information you need to respond to the queries “Which famous persons died in Mount Everest?” and “Which celebrities died in Mount Everest?”
Athletes, musicians, famous people, and significant local leaders are on the list of people who have perished on Mount Everest in the past.
- George Mallory – Dec. at 37 (1886-1924)
- Maurice Wilson – Dec. at 36 (1898-1934)
- Andrew Irvine – Dec. at 22 (1902-1924)
- David Sharp – Dec. at 34 (1972-2006)
- Peter Boardman – Dec. at 31 (1950-1982)
- Rob Hall – Dec. at 35 (1961-1996)
- Scott Fischer – Dec. at 40 (1955-1996)
- Joe Tasker – Dec. at 34 (1948-1982)
- Babu Chiri Sherpa – Dec. at 35 (1965-2001)
- Tomas Olsson- Dec. at 30 (1976-2006)
- Francys Arsentiev – Dec. at 40 (1958-1998)
- Karl Gordon Henize – Dec. at 66 (1926-1993)
- Green Boots – May 1996 at 28 (1968-1996)