Wednesday, April 9

Green Boots and a Life Too Soon

The weekend was a sad affair, with this depression and work and etc. And then a couple of my favourite bloggers posted about issues pertaining to death. I get so worried thinking about death, well the saddest thing of all I get all sorts of dreams of death since I was a kid. Always disguised them by saying I saw a bug flying in the room, that's why I shouted and woke up from sleep and all those too smart for a little kid lies. The truth is, if there is one damn thing I'm afraid of, its death. And its very bad that sometimes I just 'hang', and get numb thinking of it...and just sit there starring at something for hours!

What really hit me hard over the weekend was Keshi's post about Janice who read it felt the same too. For the months and maybe a year after her last post, . I cant get the words I read there out of my mind, its just playing there every day, I felt so sad, I know many bloggers would have felts the same. Keshi kept commenting on her blog and its just unbelievable seeing such an emotion knowing the outcome. Tears don't suffice for this, there is so much more happening here. What we seek in this life knowing the end is all too real and sometimes too soon? So I read the comments on the last post for a few times, still in a state of shock, not believing its really happening. And all this hit me real hard, talk about fate, talk about the end and all I can imagine is the astrologers who spew this words everytime. Come on, life should not be this cruel to good people. [This is Janice's last post, and the comments. If you want just read the post and comments, but also remember the suffering.]

Let the searching soul find its place, to where it had believed in, to where it belongs.

And Green Boots. How did I ever come to read about Green Boots? My likings these days has been 'true stories' movies. Yeh, the movies that parodies true life stories, and somehow most of the times manages to make a huge mockery about it. And you remember the post on Into The Wild, the author (Jon Krakauer) who wrote the story of Christopher McCandless also wrote the bestselling account (Into Thin Air) of the 1996 Mount Everest tragedy.

Mount Everest, for all its glory is also a tragic dead end for climbers. The best and safest way to climb it is to have loads of money, hire the best Sherpa, and get the most supplies and pray that you don't freeze to death. And the cheaper and sure tragic way to summit it is to get a shared permit (the real permit is USD25k but you can share the 'shared permit' with a few person). A shared permit will get you a guide until the advanced base camp, from there you will have to push for the summit alone. This is the sad story of David Sharp, a climber who was left to die just a few hundred meters from the summit. He climbed with one of the shared permits, and he had no Sherpa guides. David Sharp died in a rock overhang near the summit, near the dead body of an Indian climber nicknamed Green Boots.

Green Boots is another tragic tale in the 'novel' called Everest. The mountain so enigmatic and high, well documented, covered and coveted, but still has the malaise of rich vs poor even just to a gigantic piece of rock jutting out from the ground. Most of the expeditions to mount Everest are sort of one way trips, even if the organizing company has the means to conduct a rescue, it will probably only mean after the climbers are dead because of the drastic weather situations there. And as always, the clients a.k.a climbers is given priority compared to their Sherpa guides and you can figure where all this shared permit summiters come next.

Green Boots is the nick name for a climber who is part of the 1996 Indian Tibet Border Patrol Everest Expedition. This wiki entry identifies him possibly as 'Tsewang Paljor'. Paljor made it to the summit with two other climbers of the expedition, but was also caught in the 1996 storm. They never came down. The tragic part of this is that his body was left in the cave, for more than 10 years now. His nickname came from the boots he was wearing, green in color. (There's links to the photos below). In the wiki entry, Ian Woodall a climber who initiated an expedition to retrieve the bodies of Paljor and other dead climbers left near the summit did not find Paljor's body.

For 10 years, amazingly, hundreds of climbers walked past the body of Paljor and many other Everest dead climbers without the means to do anything. We have seen tragedies around the world, but what fate is this and how they lost their lives for the glories only their mind can savour. Maybe this is fight between need and want, or to be true to the calling. Death is a tragedy no one can forget, cant forgive life to be made to face it and cant get away from. Death is Life. And we are made to watch and live it.

God Bless.

[#Update] I'm honored to have Jake Norton, two times Everest climber and an experienced mountaineer to visit this blog and leaving a great comment. Visit Jake's blog @ The MountainWorld™ Blog. There's very good information and posts there about mountaineering and also recent developments regarding China's attempt to summit the Olympic torch through the Tibetian climbing route. Thanks Jake!

[+] Green Boots
[+] Photos of Green Boots [SeattleTimes - direct link to image], [],[The ITBP martyr gallery with Paljor's image at the bottom]
[+] David Sharp
[+] Mount Everest
[+] Everest News - Daily updates on Expeditions and daily summiting news.


Miladysa said...

Excellent post! Thank you!

Death is inevitable. I can think about it and be scared but I know my mum and dad are waiting for me.

I want to see my liitle girl grow up.

I don't want to waste life thinking about death - we can't change it Ghosty so let's enjoy the living :-D

Miladysa said...

PS I posted something inspired by you - you will know what it is when you see it.

I did not link back to you in the post because I understand you do not have the same freedom in some respects as I do.

If you want me to link you in it just let me know.


jakedai said...

Great post, and great thoughts. As one who has climbed Everest twice, been on 5 expeditions there, and had to deal personally and directly with both its high and low points, I thought I'd offer a quote from Sogyal Rinpoche which in many ways sums up the issues on life, death, and risk...not only on Everest, but more importantly in life itself:

"Living with the immediacy of death help you sort out your priorities in life. It helps you lead a less trivial life."

I've written quite a bit on my blog - - about Everest and related matters, fwiw.


Jake Norton
MountainWorld Productions

Keshi said...

aww Ghosty I know some ppl get traumatised by going to Janice's blog. So I try not to talk too much abt it. Even Cindy was very sad. I hope I didnt upset u too much by introducing Janice into ur lives.

Yes both Life n Death follow each other ard, like inseparable twins.


Cinderella. said...

"Death is life."

You said it with such precision bhai. And damn, it scares me to my bones. ANd I wont say i am a courageous gal this time. Coz i aint.

The worst way its manifestation is when ppl have ti die, acknowledgemin a lot of pain and gore. I wonder what they ever did o that moron up there...

Take care.


Cinderella. said...

At office bhai.
Are ya there on gmail ?

Vesper de Vil said...

i feel you on this. i went and read janice's last post and the comment section. how devastating.

i almost bit it while giving birth when i was 21, so i had such a deep emotional reaction to your post and janice's blog.

i remember reading her blog sometime in 2005.


Standbymind said...

death is life...


Beautiful line!x

Jyoti said...


I am still to discover the journey of this inevitable death..but ya was glad to know that you "life journey" is going good.

But I wonder, that nobody is known of exactly what this death is. But an end of some kind of life, may be physical body. Then, why to roam about an end, after which we are not sure of being able to do anything. Why to loose present, just for the "predicted future"?

Jeevan said...

People those defeats death thoughts are freed from fears. Many times knowledge fails to relieve fear of death, and a developed mind comes easily out of this fear. It was really tragic about green boots and the Everest climbers. Thanks bro, sill doing from on screen keyboard .

Ghost Particle said...

[milady] we want to achieve many things, and i think only a positive mind will make it happen. You are one, :) And thats a good cause, I will do another post for it soon. Hugs.

[jakedai] its an honour, I want to talk so much more with you regarding your experience!

And the quote is timeless, we spend too much time worrying that we miss the real deal in life.

Thx Jake!

[Keshi] it is not a problem at all, i really think i read it at the right time, it helped me reflect on life so much. hugs luv.

[cindy] I dont know why we are going through all this, but its good that we know about it. it puts so much meaning into life. We live the same fear, the same happiness.


[vesper] Vesper, it is trully sad. I jst got so depressed reading it. Thank god you are alive today, it is so magical giving birth to a new life, that sometimes we dont know about the medical complications, Alot of young women die during childbirth. its time to find more information and educate first time mothers about this. Thx.

[standby] bro, thx. :)

[jyoti] what u said is true. but the intriguing thing of all this is that the sudden stop couple with the emotional tragedy. its just too much. :(

[jeevan] Jeevan, hope u can get ur pc all right in time. if not, i will get the bloggers to ur rescue!

its such a complicated topic death is, but one day we will learn to love with it. hugs.

Alok said...

I think it is the reality of death that is striking .. the more I think of it these days the more I realise how ethereal life itself is ... but I guess wht's striking abt life is life itself and its fluidity which the constancy of death can never achieve ...



it rains around the world sleep welcomes the dream, and  enigmatic souls awaken along the eternal shores of destiny