Nestled in the awe-inspiring Himalayas, there lies a mystical and enigmatic place known as Mt Everest Rainbow Valley. This hidden gem has captivated the hearts of adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike, drawing them towards its alluring secrets.

In this article, we embark on a journey to unravel the mysteries of this extraordinary destination and uncover the dark secrets that lie beneath its vibrant surface.

Famous Trek in Everest Region:

Unraveling the Mystery of Mt Everest Rainbow Valley

How Did Mt Everest Rainbow Valley Get Its Name?

Rainbow Valley, nestled below the northern ridge of Mt. Everest, gets its intriguing name from a somber yet awe-inspiring phenomenon that occurs in this high-altitude area. The valley earned this name due to the colorful appearance created by the presence of numerous deceased climbers and the remnants of their expeditions.

At altitudes above 8000m, climbers who have lost their lives while attempting to conquer Mt. Everest are left behind in this desolate region, covered by vibrant jackets, tents, and other equipment, creating a macabre yet strikingly colorful sight. The colorful clothing and equipment strewn across the landscape have given rise to the name “Rainbow Valley.”

Geological Formations and Unique Landscape of Mt Everest Rainbow Valley

Rainbow Valley lies in the “Death Zone” of Mt. Everest, characterized by altitudes above 8000m where oxygen levels are critically low, making survival extremely challenging. The terrain in this region is harsh and unforgiving, with steep and narrow trails that can accommodate only one climber at a time.

Due to the treacherous conditions and thin air, climbers who succumb to the challenges of Everest often remain in the Death Zone, becoming a permanent part of Rainbow Valley’s eerie landscape.

The valley’s unique landscape is a result of the combination of human elements, such as the colorful clothing and equipment left behind, and the harsh natural conditions that preserve the remains of climbers for extended periods. The bodies of those who have perished remain remarkably intact due to the freezing temperatures and limited decomposition in the extreme cold.

Scientific Explanations for the Rainbow Effect of Mt Everest Rainbow Valley

The rainbow-like appearance of the valley is not caused by any supernatural phenomena but rather results from the variety of colorful clothing worn by climbers and the equipment they carry. The stark contrast between the vibrant jackets and gear against the stark, icy surroundings creates a visual spectacle akin to a rainbow.

Additionally, the presence of different colors and materials in the clothing and equipment, such as blue, red, orange, and green jackets, tents, and oxygen tanks, contributes to the striking and diverse array of hues visible in the valley. From a distance, the combination of these colors and materials can indeed resemble the spectrum of colors found in a rainbow, albeit under far more somber circumstances.


Where Is The Rainbow Valley On Everest?

The Rainbow Valley on Everest is located below the northern ridge of Mount Everest, in the region known as the “Death Zone.” Perched at mind-boggling altitudes exceeding 8000 meters (26,247 feet) on the mighty mountain’s unforgiving expanse, lies the ominous Death Zone.

A realm of hauntingly scant oxygen, mercilessly harsh weather, and treacherous terrain, it stands as Everest’s enigmatic enigma – the pinnacle of challenges and perils. A dark abyss where many valiant climbers have met their untimely demise, succumbing to the relentless grip of severe conditions and the cruel scarcity of life-sustaining air.

The bodies of those who have perished while attempting to conquer the peak often remain in this high-altitude region. The colorful clothing, gear, and equipment of these climbers create the vibrant and haunting landscape known as the Rainbow Valley.

Reaching the Death Zone is a critical stage in any Everest expedition, and climbers must be well-prepared, physically fit, and acclimatized to the altitude to increase their chances of success and survival in this formidable part of the mountain.


Why Are The Dead Bodies Piling Up In Rainbow Valley Everest?

The dead bodies are piling up in Rainbow Valley on Everest due to the challenging and hazardous conditions of the “Death Zone,” which is located above 8000 meters (26,247 feet) on the mountain. Several factors contribute to this somber phenomenon:

  • Difficulties in Recovery

The Death Zone, shrouded in high-altitude realms of thin air, bone-chilling cold, and unforgiving gales, poses a Herculean challenge for any rescue endeavors. Retrieving the bodies of fallen climbers from this treacherous domain becomes a daunting and financially burdensome task.

The fierce winds and harsh weather render helicopter rescues a near-impossibility, leaving the deceased stranded in their icy resting place. Even daring climbers, well aware of the risks, hesitate to embark on perilous missions to recover the fallen, for the unforgiving Death Zone shows no mercy and may claim more lives in the pursuit of such noble yet hazardous endeavors.

  • Narrow and Dangerous Trails

The trails in the Death Zone are narrow and precarious, allowing only one climber to pass at a time. When climbers succumb to the harsh conditions, their bodies may remain on the trail. As other climbers continue their ascent or descent, the deceased are often pushed off the trail, eventually coming to rest in areas like Rainbow Valley.

  • High Death Toll

The Death Zone is the point on Everest where most fatalities occur. Confronting a relentless barrage of severe challenges, climbers in the Death Zone grapple with perilously low oxygen levels, unforgiving weather, and overwhelming exhaustion. Tragically, the toll of lives lost in this formidable region surpasses that of other sections of the mountain, resulting in a haunting accumulation of bodies over the years in the haunting expanse known as Rainbow Valley.

  • Costly Recovery Efforts

Recovering bodies from high altitudes is a costly endeavor, requiring multiple people and specialized equipment. The high cost and logistical difficulties discourage many from attempting recovery missions, leading to a build-up of bodies in the region.

  • Extreme Conditions Preserve Bodies

The freezing temperatures and limited decomposition in the extreme cold of the Death Zone help preserve the bodies of climbers who have passed away. As a result, the deceased often remain remarkably intact, adding to the solemn sight of Rainbow Valley.

Overall, the accumulation of dead bodies in Rainbow Valley on Everest serves as a haunting reminder of the risks and sacrifices involved in attempting to conquer the world’s highest peak. The valley stands as a testament to the courage and determination of climbers while also highlighting the inherent dangers and challenges of the Death Zone.


What Happens To The People Who Die In The Mt Everest Rainbow Valley?

When people die in Rainbow Valley on Everest, their bodies are left behind. Recovering bodies from the high-altitude and treacherous terrain of the Death Zone is a difficult and risky task, often deemed impractical or too dangerous to attempt. As a result, the deceased climbers who do not survive their Everest expeditions may stay in Rainbow Valley for years or even decades. Here’s what happens to the bodies of those who die in the Mt Everest Rainbow Valley:

  • Remains Stay in Place

The bodies of climbers who have perished in the Death Zone are often left where they fall. The extreme conditions, including freezing temperatures and limited decomposition due to the cold, preserve the bodies remarkably well. As a result, the remains may remain in the valley for an extended period.

  • Haunting Presence

The colorful clothing, gear, and equipment left behind by deceased climbers create a haunting and poignant sight in Rainbow Valley. The valley serves as a solemn reminder of the risks and sacrifices faced by those who attempted to conquer Mt. Everest.

  • Deterioration Over Time

While the extreme cold can preserve the bodies to some extent, over time, the harsh conditions may cause deterioration. The remains can become scattered or moved due to natural forces such as wind and avalanches.

  • Memorials and Respect

Some climbers who pass by Rainbow Valley may pay their respects to the deceased, acknowledging the dangers and challenges of Everest. In some cases, memorials or markers may be left to honor the fallen climbers.


What Is The Main Cause Of Death On The Mount Everest Rainbow Valley?

The primary cause of death in Mount Everest expeditions lies within the unforgiving and treacherous confines of the dreaded “Death Zone.” This trepid region looms above 8000 meters (26,247 feet) on the mountain, where climbers daringly aspire to conquer the summit. Within this realm of daunting altitude, adventurers confront a multitude of life-threatening challenges, becoming harrowing adversaries that tragically contribute to the grim tally of fatalities on Everest. The primary causes of death include:

  • Altitude Sickness

Ascending to great heights, thin air deprives oxygen, inviting altitude sickness. Bewildering symptoms like dizziness, nausea, headaches, and fatigue warn of peril. Beware, as this malady may escalate to life-threatening conditions like High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). Vigilance is paramount in these oxygen-deprived heights.

  • Hypoxia

Within the Death Zone, oxygen deprivation induces hypoxia, a perilous state wherein body tissues and organs receive inadequate oxygen for optimal function. Hypoxia may culminate in organ failure and, ultimately, mortality.

  • Extreme Weather Conditions

Mount Everest’s infamous reputation stems from its merciless weather—blizzards, bone-chilling cold, and ferocious winds. Enduring these extremes for prolonged periods can prove fatal.

  • Avalanches

The mountain’s rugged terrain and unstable snowpack can trigger avalanches, which pose a significant threat to climbers attempting to ascend or descend the slopes.

  • Exhaustion and Fatigue

The arduous journey of climbing Everest demands immense physical prowess, but it also brings forth exhaustion and fatigue. Climbers’ strength may wane, elevating the risk of accidents and health complications along the way.

  • Falls and Injuries

The narrow and steep trails in the Death Zone can be treacherous, and climbers may slip, fall, or suffer injuries during their ascent or descent.

  • Climbing Crowds

During peak climbing seasons, the number of climbers attempting to summit Everest can create bottlenecks and long queues at critical points along the route. Within the Death Zone, climbers endure prolonged stays, depleting their oxygen reserves and heightening the perils of altitude-related illnesses.

Note: Despite advancements in technology, equipment, and expedition planning that have lowered the overall fatality rate on Everest, scaling the world’s highest peak remains a profoundly challenging and perilous undertaking.


Popular and Famous Stories about Mt Everest Rainbow Valley


  • Green Boots Everest

One of the most famous and eerie stories associated with Mt Everest Rainbow Valley is “Green Boots.” Green Boots refers to a deceased climber whose body has become a prominent and iconic landmark in the Death Zone. The climber’s body is located on the northeast ridge of Everest, inside a small cave, and is identifiable by the green boots they were wearing.

While the identity of Green Boots is believed to be that of Tsewang Samanla, an Indian climber who went missing during the 1996 Everest disaster, it remains a topic of debate and mystery. The sight of Green Boots serves as a haunting reminder of the perils of climbing Everest and has become a notable landmark for climbers en route to the summit.


  • Sleeping Beauty Everest – Francys Arsentiev

Francys Arsentiev, an American climber, embarked on an expedition to summit Everest in 1998. While she successfully reached the summit without supplemental oxygen, she encountered difficulties during her descent. Francys and her husband, Sergei Arsentiev, faced exhaustion and extreme weather conditions, leaving them stranded at high altitudes.

In a daring attempt to rescue his wife, Sergei climbed back up the mountain but was unable to bring her down. Francys was found by a rescue team, barely alive and clinging to life, earning her the nickname “Sleeping Beauty” due to her peaceful appearance despite her dire situation.

Tragically, due to the difficulties in retrieving her from the high-altitude and treacherous terrain, Francys Arsentiev passed away on the mountain. Her body remained in Mt Everest Rainbow Valley, serving as a poignant symbol of the challenges faced by climbers on Everest.


  • Hannelore Schmatz – German Mountaineer

Hannelore Schmatz, a German mountaineer, attempted to summit Everest in 1979 with her husband and a group of climbers. They successfully reached the summit but encountered difficulties during their descent. Exhausted and suffering from the extreme altitude, Hannelore and an American climber, Ray Genet, sought shelter in the Death Zone.

Despite their experience in mountaineering, they were unable to make it back to camp. Hannelore was found sitting against her backpack, but she had succumbed to exhaustion and frostbite. Her last words were a plea for water. Her body was left in the Death Zone, and for years, climbers passed by her remains, observing the tragic sight.


  • Scott Fischer

Scott Fischer, an American mountaineer, and guide, was part of the ill-fated Everest expedition in 1996 that saw multiple fatalities. Fischer was a respected and experienced climber and the leader of the Mountain Madness guiding company. Unfortunately, he faced severe challenges during the ascent and descent, along with his clients.

Due to the dangerous conditions and exhaustion, Fischer perished on the mountain. His body remained in the Death Zone, becoming a somber reminder of the inherent risks faced by even seasoned climbers on Everest. Fischer’s story and the events of the 1996 disaster were later chronicled in books and documentaries, adding to the legendary status of Mt Everest Rainbow Valley.

Read More: Everest Base Camp Trek History: A Journey Back in Time


Mt Everest Rainbow Valley: Safety and Precautions for Climbers

Climbing Mt. Everest and venturing into the Rainbow Valley is an extreme and perilous undertaking that requires meticulous planning, physical fitness, and mental preparation. Safety should be the utmost priority for climbers attempting such a challenging ascent. Here are some essential safety measures and precautions for climbers:

  • Acclimatization and Altitude Sickness Concerns

Vital for climbers is acclimatization, adapting to thin air and reduced oxygen at high altitudes. Days spent at lower camps before ascending mitigate the risk of altitude sickness, including life-threatening High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). Climbers must recognize symptoms and descend promptly if they worsen.

  • Essential Safety Gear and Equipment

Essential for Everest climbers is the proper safety gear and equipment to combat extreme conditions. High-quality mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axes, harnesses, helmets, and down suits shield against the biting cold. Insulated clothing, gloves, and goggles are crucial defenses against frostbite and hypothermia. Carrying supplemental oxygen is a must for the perilous Death Zone.

  • Experienced and Knowledgeable Guides

Choosing experienced and knowledgeable guides or expedition leaders is crucial for a safe and successful journey. Climbers should opt for reputable guiding companies with a track record of safety and success on Everest. Experienced guides can provide valuable guidance, decision-making, and support throughout the climb.

  • Weather and Conditions Monitoring

Monitoring weather conditions and forecasts is essential on Everest. Climbers should avoid attempting the summit during periods of extreme weather, such as blizzards or strong winds. Flexible planning and patience are essential to wait for the right window of opportunity for a safe ascent.

  • Physical Fitness and Training

Climbing Everest demands exceptional physical fitness and endurance. Climbers should undergo rigorous training to strengthen their cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and strength. Training should include both cardiovascular exercises and strength training to prepare for the demanding ascent.

  • Proper Nutrition and Hydration

Maintaining proper nutrition and hydration is crucial during the climb. High-altitude conditions can reduce appetite, but climbers must eat and drink regularly to maintain energy levels and prevent dehydration.

  • Adequate Rest and Recovery

Adequate rest and recovery are vital for climbers to avoid exhaustion and fatigue. Proper rest at lower camps and pacing the ascent will help climbers maintain their energy and stamina throughout the journey.

  • Avoid Overcrowding and Queues

During peak climbing seasons, overcrowding and queues can occur at critical sections of the route. Climbers should plan their ascent to avoid congested periods and consider alternative routes to reduce the risk of accidents.

  • Communication and Emergency Plans

Climbers should have reliable communication systems to stay in touch with their team and base camp. An emergency plan should be in place in case of any unforeseen circumstances, and climbers should know the procedures for seeking help or evacuation if needed.



As our journey through the enigmatic Mt Everest Rainbow Valley draws to a close, we find ourselves forever changed by the experiences and knowledge gained. The hidden dark secrets have unraveled, revealing the intricate tapestry of nature, culture, and human spirit that makes this destination truly extraordinary.

Armed with a deeper appreciation for responsible exploration, we leave the region, knowing that the allure of Rainbow Valley will forever linger in our hearts, inspiring us to venture further, dream bigger, and preserve the wonders of our world.



  • Why is it called the Rainbow Valley?

The Rainbow Valley derives its name from a poignant association. The casualties who tragically lost their lives on the mountain are clad in multicolored jackets, reminiscent of a rainbow. These vibrant hues, including red, green, and blue, can be seen as the down suits of these fallen climbers emerge from beneath the snow. 

  •  Is Sleeping Beauty still on Mt. Everest?

Francis Arsentiev, known as the Slumbering Beauty of Mount Everest, remains on the slopes of the mountain. In 2007, the Tao of Everest Campaign, led by Cathy O’Dowd and her husband Ian Woodall, undertook the compassionate mission of recovering her lifeless body and providing it with a proper burial. 

  • What is the perilous zone on Everest?

Climbers who venture beyond 26,000 feet on Mount Everest enter what is known as the “death zone.” This treacherous area is characterized by severely limited oxygen, leading to the deterioration of the body’s cells and impaired judgment. Climbers are susceptible to heart attacks, strokes, and severe altitude sickness.