Hannelore Schmatz: First Woman To Die On Everest

Hannelore Schmatz is the fourth woman to summit Mount Everest who would never return home. Eventually, the German national Schmatz became the first woman to die on Mount Everest. Her body froze into a sitting position that anyone attempting to summit by the southern route could see.

Later, Everest decided to give Schmatz a final rest, and the wind gust took her away to the Kangshung face, where no one could ever see her.

Let’s know about Hannelore Schmatz from her life to death.

Who Is Hannelore Schmatz?

Who Is Hannelore Schmatz

Hannaekore Schmatz was a German professional mountaineer born on 16th February 1940 in Regensburg, Germany.

She was married to Gerhard Schmatz until her death on 2nd October 1979. Her husband, Gerhard Schmatz, is also a professional climber. He happened to be the expedition leader, aged 50, becoming the oldest person to have made it to the summit.

The duo has conquered the mountain, but Hannelore could not make it home and family with Gerhard Schmatz.

Hannelore Schmatz’s Expeditions

With the successful Manaslu Expedition, fellow eight-thousander 8,163 meters, Hannaekore and Gerhard dreamed of top-of-the-top Mount Everest.

They wrote to the Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs for permission for the Mt. Everest expedition. However, they had to wait a few more years, so they went on an expedition for three years.

During that time, they kissed the top of various peaks, including the Lhotse expedition (8,516m) in June 1977. Soon, they would hear the good news that they were granted permission for Mount Everest due in the post-monsoon seasons of 1979.

Thrilled with Everest fever, they began their preparation. They formed an expedition group of eight climbers: Nick Banks, Hans von Känel, Tilman Fischbach, Günter fights, Dr Hermann Warth. Ray Genet, Hannelore Schmatz, and Dr Gerhard Schmatz and five Sherpas: Ang Jangbu, Sundare, Pertemba, Lhakpa and unkown Sherpa.

Hannelore was brilliant in collecting and transporting the material needed for the expedition. However, at that time, every essential material for the expedition lasting about three months had to be bought in Europe and transported to Nepal. Getting suitable food or equipment in Kathmandu was impossible at that time.

Hannelore Schmatz Finally On Everest

Aforementioned, Hannelore Schmatz was a professional climber. Without a doubt, she and the team successfully reached the summit point. Nevertheless, among the eight climbers, six and the 5 Sherpas made it safely down, leaving behind Hannelore and Ray Genet.

It had to be a success story, what happened then? Despite being experienced, Hannelore and Genet were too exhausted to continue descending. It’s not that the Sherpas did not warn them, but fate has another plan for them. Plan to keep them forever in rest on EVEREST.

Despite warnings from a Sherpa about the dangers in “Death Zone,” they set up a bivouac camp overnight. Nevertheless, they were not left alone: Sungdare Sherpa and Ang Jangbo stayed with them in a bivouac at 28,000 feet. However, that night’s chilling snowstorm was too much for Genet, and he rested peacefully from hypothermia that night. His body was never discovered.

Even though Hannelore and the Sherpa survived the night and continued descending, at 27,200 feet, her body asked for the little rest which cost her life. She sat down to sleep against her backpack; exhausted, Hannelore fell asleep, never waking up. A Sleep To Death!!!! Her Sherpa guide was with her body, which cost him most of his fingers and toes.

Hannelore Schmatz’s last word in Everest, “Water, Water,”

Hannelore Schmatz Body In Everest With Her Eyed Open & Hair Blowing For Years

The Hannelore freezing corpse remained on mount Everest for several years, becoming one of the many bodies on the South East Ridge of Mt. Everest. Her frozen body appeared leaning on her backpack, with her eyes open. Later, Schmatz’s corpse was blown over the side of the mountain, never coming into sight of others.

As per reports: many climbers had mistaken Hannelore’s body for the tent. After a closer look, only they would recognize it as a frosty body.

During a 1981 expedition, Sungdare Sherpa was a guide for a new group of climbers, including Chris Kopcjynski. In descending process, as they came across Schmatz’s body, Kopcjynski, a fellow member from the expedition, was astounded for initially believing the body of Hannelore Schmatz was a tent. Kopcjynsk stated, “We did not touch it. I could see she had on her watch still.”

Hannelorte’s Body Rescue Programme Cost Life Of Two!!!

During the 1984 Nepales Police expedition for clean-up operations, Nepalese police inspector Yogenda Bahadur Thapa, the expedition’s leader, and his guide Sherpa Dorje lost their life while trying to recover Hannelore Schmatz’s frozen corpse from above the South Col. Indeed, it was a brave job to do but it cost the life.

Later a day, the bodies of Yogendra Bahadur Thapa and his guide, Ang Dorjee, were found entangled in ropes from the mountain’s southern 26,240-foot high pass. They were just 36 years old and 35 years old, respectively.

Why do they leave bodies on Everest?

Marko Lihteneker's body covered by Russian Climbers
Marko Lihteneker’s body covered by Russian Climbers

It is extremely difficult to remove dead bodies from the top of the world, Mt Everest. A famous saying is, “When Everest takes life, it keeps it.”

There have been many dead rescue projects in history. However, it’s not only expensive, but it’s also too dangerous for reinsurer life as well. There would be nothing wrong with saying it’s a life-threatening project where many rescuers have already lost their lives in the process.

And also, if you are curious, how much does it cost to retrieve the bodies? Here is your answer: it cost a whopping $10,000.

You may also like:

What is the biggest killer on Mount Everest?

What is the biggest killer on Mount Everest?

There are various reasons for death in Everest. From avalanches to rockfalls to mountain sickness to exhaustion to acclimatization to storming: all have accounts at the end at Everest.

Over 200 dead bodies are up on Mount Everest, and most of the corpses are above the 8000m, the danger zone.

The data shows: 25.2% of people lost their life due to avalanches, while 23.2% due to falls. 11.7% died due to mountain sickness, and 11.7% from exhaustion. Another 8.5% died from frostbite and freezing, while 8.2% from illnesses such as pneumonia, cold, and flu. Another danger is the collapse of the Khumbu Ice Falls, which has been the reason for the death of 4.9%. The other deadliest causes of mortality on Everest show: 3.6% falls in cracks, 2.9% loss without a trace, and 1% stone falls.


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