Sleeping Beauty of Mount Everest

  • Kishwor Adhikari
  • Last Updated on May 3, 2024

Sleeping Beauty of Mount Everest

Have you heard about the sleeping beauty? It is not from any cartoons or Disney but from the highest mountain, Mount Everest. Yes, there is a sleeping beauty on the world's highest peak. Sleeping Beauty is still believed to be on Mount Everest.

Francys Arsentiev is also known as the Sleeping Beauty of Mount Everest, was a brave woman who lost her life while descending from the summit. Her spooky and eerie story still haunts many people. Many people have died on Mount Everest, but why does her story stand out? Let's find out more about the Sleeping Beauty of Mount Everest.


Table of Contents

Who is the Mount Everest Sleeping Beauty?

Francys Arsentiev is the sleeping beauty of Everest. Francys was born on January 18, 1958, in Hawaii. She was a woman with determination and patience. But having all of these couldn't save her life during the climb to Everest. She was the first American woman to climb the Mount Everest Summit without any supplemental oxygen cylinder. Francys Arsentiev studied for her master's at the Phoenix International School of Business Management.

Francys Arsentiev started her Mount Everest expedition with her husband, Sergei Arsentiev. Sergei Arsentiev is also a professional mountain climber who has climbed many of the highest peaks in the world, including Annapurna I of Nepal. They have both attempted to climb many mountains together.

During the climb, the couple faced difficulties, and Francys began to suffer from altitude sickness near the summit. Despite their efforts, they were unable to descend safely. Sergei was rescued, but Francys had to be left behind due to the extreme conditions. Her body lay near the summit for years, earning her the nickname "Mount Everest's Sleeping Beauty." Her story is both a testament to the dangers of high-altitude climbing and a reminder of the human spirit's resilience in the face of extreme challenges.


Attempt to The Everest

Sleeping Beauty of Everest and her husband started their Everest Base Camp expedition in May 1998. They tried to attempt the Everest base camp from the North Col, which means from the Tibetan side, on May 17. They tried to attempt the Mount Everest summit the next day, and they reached an altitude of 7,770 m.

On May 19, they both climbed to 8203 m. According to some reports, Sergei reported that they were fine and would start their attempt the next day at 1 AM. The next day, they started their Mount Everest summit climb but couldn't make it because their headlamps weren't working. On this day, they also had to stay in Camp 6.

The weather is the main factor that made their attempt more difficult. They had to stay on camp 6 for three days. The altitude of Camp 6 Mount Everest is over 8000 m, which is also known as a death zone. They had to stay in the danger zone for three days, which was very risky. On May 22, they both started their last and final attempt at Mount Everest. On May 23, they finally reached their dream Mount Everest. On this day, they made it to Everest.

Francys and her husband, after achieving the accomplishment of climbing Mount Everest, then began to ascent. They had stayed in Mount Everest's danger zone for three days, and Francys had a frostbite. The tiredness and frostbite made it very difficult to ascent.

Everest Climbing

Francys "The Sleeping Beauty of Mount Everest" death

After ascending from the Mount Everest Summit, they both got separated. As Francys was dealing with frostbite, Sergei left her there at 8000 meters and ascended.

On May 23, 1998, Francys was found dead where she was left before. An Uzbek team was also climbing Everest. They had found Francys lying on the camp, half unconscious. They wanted to help her but could not take the risk of their own life. They tied her with a rope and left her there.

The last words the sleeping beauty of Mount Everest said were, "Don't leave me. Don't leave me alone please."

Sergei realized that Francys had not returned yet, so he went for her search using a supplemental oxygen tank and medicine. But before he could meet his beloved wife, she died. Francys died on the rope Uzbekistan had tied her in. She was found dead in the same place.

So, what about Sergei? Sergei was also found dead while trying to rescue his wife. In 1999, his body was found on the lower part of Everest. Jake Norton found the body of Sergei.

Even though Francys died after summiting Mount Everest, people still know her for her bravery and determination. She is a real hero who climbed Mount Everest without any supplemental oxygen. She also has a son named Paul. After the couple died he was left to be an orphan. He is proud of his parents but we guess not that proud of losing them.

Why is she called the Sleeping Beauty of Everest?

Mount Everest, often referred to as the "Sleeping Beauty," holds a mesmerizing allure for adventurers and climbers worldwide. However, it's important to clarify that Mount Everest itself isn't personified as Sleeping Beauty; rather, this nickname stems from the mountain dead woman.

Francys Arsentiev was called the Sleeping Beauty of Everest because when she was found dead, her body was tied to the rope, and she was calm and peaceful like a beauty. Due to the frostbite and snow, Francys body was waxed, and she seemed to be waiting for someone to wake her up. The people who tried to rescue her but couldn't succeed still feel the haunting words she said before her death.

Is the sleeping beauty still on Everest?

Yes, the body of Sleeping Beauty is still on Everest. After her death, she was seen on the routes to the Everest climb. Ian Woodall and Conrad Anker discovered her body in 2007 and moved it to a nearby area. They moved it far from the climber's sight. Ian and Conrad honoured her body with the US flag and buried her there.

Kishwor Adhikari

Kishwor Adhikari

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