On Monday, Nepal officials said that the end of the climbing season revealed four bodies on Everest as well as around 10 tons of trash. As global warming melts away glaciers, garbage and human corpses have started to surface; a collective result of numerous rich climbers who don’t care about the impact they’re having on a once pristine mountain.
A member of Nepal’s tourism department, Dandu Raj Ghimire, said that the four bodies were retrieved last week via helicopter but they have yet to be identified. The government sent a team of 14 people to search for litter at Everest’s Base Camp at 5,380 meters, and Camp 4 at around 8,000 meters. The team found empty cans, bottles, plastic, abandoned climbing equipment, florescent tents, empty gas canisters, and even human waste polluting the way to the mountain’s 8,848 meter summit. Ghimire said, “We have reached our target this season… we hope we are able to continue what we have started”. The leader of the team running the clean-up mission, Pasang Nuru Sherpa, said, “We need to run this program for (a) few more years, especially at the higher camps, to make the mountain clean”.
What is being done to combat this problem?
Porters along with Army helicopters have relocated the waste to Namche Bazar, the last distinctive town on the way to Everest. Officials say that some of the garbage will be recycled at Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. Nepalese and Chinese governments have been fighting the increased pollution as more and more climbers invade the mountain. Nepal enforced a refundable $4,000 garbage deposit for each climbing team that brought back a minimum of eight kilograms (around 18 pounds) of trash, but approximately 50 percent of climbers end up bringing their refuse back with them. Earlier this year in an effort to clean their side of the monumental mountain, China put a ban on non-climbers from reaching Base Camp through Tibet.