Man sees best friend's frozen body on Everest

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The Independent Online

A British mountain climber tackling Everest came across the body of his best friend frozen in the ice months after he died having reached the summit.

Rodney Hogg, 44, was attempting to reach the peak of the world's highest mountain in the Himalayas when he saw the body of his friend Peter Kinloch who died last year.

Mr Kinloch was attempting the Seven Summits Challenge, in which climbers attempt to conquer the highest peak on each continent. He had successfully reached the top of Everest, but suffered complications on his descent, with bad weather bringing on snow-blindness and frostbite.

The 28-year-old IT specialist collapsed with exhaustion on the mountainside. Despite hours of emergency first aid by Nepalese sherpas, he had to be left on the mountain as night set in.

Months later Mr Hogg was climbing the peak to raise money for Children in Need when he came across the body.

"He was just lying there, his body preserved immaculately by the ice," Mr Hogg said. "When I saw him I instantly knew it was Peter. You could see his face. It was just like he was lying on his back taking a rest."

The BBC employee from West London had been asked to look out for his friend's body, as Mr Kinloch's family wanted him to retrieve his camera, which was expected to contain pictures of him on top of Everest. But the risk of injury in trying to reach the body was too great, so Mr Hogg had to say goodbye to his friend from a distance.

"It was too dangerous to climb down to get closer to him, so I had an emotional moment up there to pay my respects," he said. Mr Kinloch's fellow climbers had clipped his body to the mountainside, where it is likely to remain as the cold temperatures ensure it will not decompose.