Mount Everest, the high-altitude rubbish dump

June 17, 2018 by Paavan Mathema And Annabel Symington
Discarded climbing equipment and rubbish scattered around Camp 4 of Mount Everest, where decades of commercial mountaineering have left a trail of discarded waste

Decades of commercial mountaineering have turned Mount Everest into the world's highest rubbish dump as an increasing number of big-spending climbers pay little attention to the ugly footprint they leave behind.

Fluorescent tents, discarded climbing equipment, empty gas canisters and even human excrement litter the well-trodden route to the summit of the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) peak.

"It is disgusting, an eyesore," Pemba Dorje Sherpa, who has summited Everest 18 times, told AFP. "The is carrying tonnes of waste."

As the number of climbers on the mountain has soared—at least 600 people have scaled the world's highest peak so far this year alone—the problem has worsened.

Meanwhile, melting glaciers caused by global warming are exposing trash that has accumulated on the mountain since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made the first successful summit 65 years ago.

Efforts have been made. Five years ago Nepal implemented a $4,000 rubbish deposit per team that would be refunded if each brought down at least eight kilogrammes (18 pounds) of waste.

On the Tibet side of the Himalayan mountain, they are required to bring down the same amount and are fined $100 per kilogramme if they don't.

In 2017 climbers in Nepal brought down nearly 25 tonnes of trash and 15 tonnes of human waste—the equivalent of three double-decker buses—according to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC).

Fluorescent tents, discarded climbing equipment, empty gas canisters and even human excrement litter the well-trodden route to the summit of the 8,848-metre (29,029 foot) peak

This season even more was carried down but this is just a fraction of the rubbish dumped each year, with only half of climbers lugging down the required amounts, the SPCC says.

Instead many climbers opt to forfeit the deposit, a drop in the ocean compared to the $20,000-$100,000 they will have forked out for the experience.

Pemba shrugs that many just don't care. Compounding the problem, some officials accept small bribes to turn a blind eye, he said.

"There is just not enough monitoring at the high camps to ensure the mountain stays clean," he said.

Inexperience

The Everest industry has boomed in the last two decades.

Summit route on Mount Everest, plus location of base camp.

This has sparked concerns of overcrowding as well as fears that ever more inexperienced mountaineers are being drawn by low-cost expedition operators desperate for customers.

This inexperience is exacerbating the rubbish problem, warns Damian Benegas, who has been climbing Everest for over two decades with twin brother Willie.

Sherpas, high altitude guides and workers drawn from the indigenous local ethnic group, carry heavier items including tents, extra oxygen cylinders and ropes up the mountain—and then down again.

Previously most climbers would take their own personal kit like extra clothes, food, a sleeping bag as well as supplemental oxygen.

But now, many climbers can't manage, leaving the Sherpas to carry everything.

"They have to carry the client's gear so they are unable to carry down rubbish," Benegas said.

Five years ago Nepal implemented a $4,000 rubbish deposit per team that would be refunded if each climber brought down at least eight kilogrammes (18 pounds) of waste

He added that operators need to employ more high-altitude workers to ensure all clients, their kit and rubbish get safely up and down the mountain.

Raw sewage

Environmentalists are concerned that the pollution on Everest is also affecting water sources down in the valley.

At the moment the raw sewage from base camp is carried to the next village—a one-hour walk—and dumped into trenches.

This then "gets flushed downhill during the monsoon into the river", said Garry Porter, a US engineer who together with his team might have the answer.

They are considering installing a biogas plant near Everest base camp that would turn climber poo into a useful fertiliser.

As the number of climbers on Everest has soared—at least 600 people have scaled the world's highest peak so far this year alone—the problem has worsened

Another solution, believes Ang Tsering Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, would be a dedicated rubbish collection team.

His expedition operator Asian Trekking, which has been running "Eco Everest Expeditions" for the last decade, has brought down over 18 tonnes of trash during that time in addition to the eight-kilo climber quota.

And last month a 30-strong cleanup team retrieved 8.5 tonnes of waste from the northern slopes, China's state-run Global Times reported.

"It is not an easy job. The government needs to motivate groups to clean up and enforce rules more strictly," Ang said.

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39 comments

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Mark Thomas
4.2 / 5 (6) Jun 17, 2018
Not to mention all the dead bodies up there.

"No one knows exactly how many bodies remain on Mount Everest today, but there are certainly more than 200."

http://www.bbc.co...d-bodies
dirk_bruere
1 / 5 (1) Jun 17, 2018
Just blow the top off the mountain so it's no longer the highest, and the tourists will dry up. Problem solved.
Anonym518498
Jun 17, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Jun 17, 2018
Soon enough robotics will take care of problems like this.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2018
Actually, considering it costs about US$100,000.00 more or less to climb Everest, I think the Sierra Club isn't a very fertile field of candidates.

Just sayin'.
dan42day
not rated yet Jun 17, 2018
what I don't get is, if over 600 climbers go up to base camp every year, plus their native Sherpas, why isn't there a Starbucks? Would solve the human waste problem now that they've changed their restroom policy.
Ghostt
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 17, 2018
Always thought it was a rather silly endeavor. Having sherpas carry all your stuff and oxygen for you makes the so-called achievement even less impressive. People should just buy a red sports car or something instead of climbing Mt Everest if they are having some sort of midlife crisis.
cantdrive85
2.3 / 5 (6) Jun 17, 2018
It is disgusting, an eyesore," Pemba Dorje Sherpa, who has summited Everest 18 times, told AFP. "The mountain is carrying tonnes of waste."

Why aren't those who are making their living doing this not carrying their stuff back down? Should be a requirement.
Ojorf
2.8 / 5 (11) Jun 18, 2018
Why aren't those who are making their living doing this not carrying their stuff back down? Should be a requirement.

Who, the sherpas?

Can't read, huh?

Previously most climbers would take their own personal kit like extra clothes, food, a sleeping bag as well as supplemental oxygen.
But now, many climbers can't manage, leaving the Sherpas to carry everything.
"They have to carry the client's gear so they are unable to carry down rubbish," Benegas said.


Can't drive, can't read, can't think but CAN comment... fascinating.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 18, 2018
That is the purpose of a Comment section, Ojorf...to submit comments. Did you expect an Einstein, a Sagan, a Hawking in these forums?

These climbers should not be allowed to climb Everest unless they prove to be physically and mentally fit to make it to the summit, as well as carry their own gear on their way up as well as descending. The treatment of the Sherpas as slaves/pack mules is demeaning no matter how well they are paid to carry. If the Sherpas are forced to carry the climbers' gear, then the climbers should be forced to carry their junk and offal back down the mountain.
A Sherpa who has made it to the summit 18 times is, in my book, far superior to the sissyboy who doesn't have the strength to carry his own 'stuff''.

antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 18, 2018
Having sherpas carry all your stuff and oxygen for you makes the so-called achievement even less impressive.

Yah...especially all the ones who were heralded as the "first mountaineers who scaled Mount Everest" when sherpas were making the trip basically every other tuesday.
granville583762
5 / 5 (3) Jun 18, 2018
Pay your Sherpa's those extra Nepalese rupee's to give your stiffs a respectable funeral
Mind where you put your feet as you walk that narrow path to your summit especially at meal times when you sit down and relax in all that excrement and do not be squeamish at those frozen finger floating in your mug of hot coco and pleasant dreams at night as all those ghosts that fore ever haunt Everest for ever among those rubbish strewn rocky crags it is time to be responsible climbers my friends and pay your Sherpa's those extra Nepalese rupee's to take your rubbish, excrement and stiffs down the mountain side to be disposed of responsibly and to give your stiffs a respectable funeral
Da Schneib
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 18, 2018
Why aren't those who are making their living doing this not carrying their stuff back down? Should be a requirement.
Yeah, they're only brown people anyway.

Did your mother or your father teach you to be so racist? Or both?

You smell like your mother.
granville583762
4 / 5 (4) Jun 18, 2018
Da Schneib> Why aren't those who are making their living doing this not carrying their stuff back down? Should be a requirement.
Yeah, they're only brown people anyway.

Did your mother or your father teach you to be so racist? Or both?

You smell like your mother.

Be respectable Da Schneib and insult your brethren with your wit and the intellect you possess as the biggest insults do not come from calling your friends crude insulting names but come from making it part of flow dialogue of conversation that makes the recipients head reel as those brains cells are shocked out of crude insults and have to work over time as they realise that they have just insulted their own good self Da Schneib!
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 18, 2018
You smell like your mother
And yet, per the article...

"Ang Tsering Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, would be a dedicated rubbish collection team.

"His expedition operator Asian Trekking, which has been running "Eco Everest Expeditions" for the last decade, has brought down over 18 tonnes of trash during that time in addition to the eight-kilo climber quota."

-This is what they get paid to do. I suppose you think all garbage collectors ought to be white? Call your congressman.

As usual, da scheide smells like fish.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Jun 18, 2018
I don't give a shit what racists think. I hope whatever they think poisons them and they all die in agony screaming.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Jun 18, 2018
Be respectable Da Schneib and insult your brethren with your wit and the intellect
uh what wit and intellect might that be?
Da Schneib
not rated yet Jun 18, 2018
So @TheGOO admits to racism.

I figured so. Racist stinking rotten POS much, @TheGOO?

Just askin'.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Jun 18, 2018
So @TheGOO admits to racism.

I figured so. Racist much, @TheGOO?

Just askin'.
Naw I think you're pretty ignorant whatever color you are. Probably pink.

Just knowin'
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2018
So now I'm a target of racism, is that right, @TheGOO?

You are disgusting, predictable, and racist. I hope you choke on your own stinking vomit and die in extreme pain.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 18, 2018
Hey look here are some politically correct garbage collectors
http://khqa.com/n...s-part-1

-But here, this is not right
https://www.alamy...176.html

-Racist mafioso garbage dons should be shot.

But what of this???
http://www.ebaums...4533573/

-@ #2. Women garbage collectors who are pregnant should get maternity leave because garbage is not good for the unborn.

And be paid twice as much because garbage collecting is twice as hard for them.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2018
Go away collector of child penises @TheGOO.

How many child penises have you eaten today, @TheGOO? Do you give them candy first to get them to come close enough that you can capture them?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 18, 2018
So now I'm a target of racism, is that right, @TheGOO?
Naw you're all pink on the inside. Stupid infects all races, all creeds, all affiliations, all neighborhoods.

You'd fit in anywhere.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2018
Go suck some more green stinking donkey dicks, @TheGOO. I have no interest in talking to racists in any but the most abusive terms. Maybe you can get someone to probe your weeping stinking anal cysts of their GOO.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Jun 18, 2018
See, @Otto, this is what happens when you play games and are nasty when someone was nice to you.

Maybe you'd like to try apologizing and starting over. Otherwise you can put up with what I'm doing forever, every time I see you posting here. Because the fact of the matter is, you're a racist pig and you can't get better.
granville583762
5 / 5 (4) Jun 18, 2018
Jeeves and Wooster
Surveillance_Egg_Unit> That is the purpose of a Comment section, Ojorf...to submit comments. Did you expect an Einstein, a Sagan, a Hawking in these forums?
These climbers …..A Sherpa who has made it to the summit 18 times is, in my book, far superior to the sissyboy who doesn't have the strength to carry his own 'stuff''.

Surveillance_Egg_Unit:- This point that has always brought puzzlement and mirth, you climb an un climbable mountain but need the Sherpa's to carry your equipment to enable you to climb - No one has ever said what exactly your Sherpinian man servant is doing at your side as he hands you your grappling hooks and in the evening lays out your slippers and lights your pipe as he lays out your night apparel and fills your glass for that last night cap to prepare you for those rigors ahead
granville583762
4 / 5 (4) Jun 18, 2018
Never forget the Punch lines
granville583762> Be respectable Da Schneib and insult your brethren with your wit and the intellect

TheGhostofOtto1923> uh what wit and intellect might that be?

You forgot the punch line Otto - as those brains cells are shocked out of crude insults and have to work overtime as they realise that they have just insulted their own good self - which was for the original recipient Otto .

Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2018
@granville, nothing but shock works with @TheGOO. And @TheGOO is no brethren of mine. It's a racist POS.
humy
3 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2018
Soon enough robotics will take care of problems like this.

Yes, they will waste their time climbing very tall mountains so people don't have to.
granville583762
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 18, 2018
Da Schneib> @granville, nothing but shock works with @TheGOO. And @TheGOO is no brethren of mine. It's a racist POS.

Oh, I am getting to know the inner souls of those who frequent this site, I've had long experience of how much or how little it takes to rattle the quantum fluctuations of one's inner thoughts as I have had another experience with a round with RNP, not that he could not stand the pace he could not understand English and humour and now he is accompanying all the others he has on his little list which you are now discussing Da Schneib
This is what I do not get Da Schneib, RNP does not understand what I am now inkly typing to you but Benni does!
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 18, 2018
So scheide, please explain how good honest work like garbage collecting is beneath the dignity of minorities like your sogennante brown people, but not for whites?

I will be forwarding your answer to these teamster guys
https://teamster....ctor-day

"Today is National Garbage Collector Day, an annual event to honor the men and women who work to keep our neighborhoods and streets safe and clean on a daily basis. In the Teamsters Union, however, we honor the hard work of garbage collectors every day – by fighting for justice in the waste industry."

-Look at all those smiling faces! You should buy some cookies and milk.

Also I believe that die Scheiden are all pink on the inside, no? Including you?
granville583762
4 / 5 (4) Jun 18, 2018
Puns on Language
Da Schneib> @granville, nothing but shock works

Da Schneib:- concerning language and putting your foot in it by not fitting in and walking out the door as RNP because of translation cultural problems
Trixi40 used to call RNPs translation problem "A Knights Move Transgression" as a mathematical derivation of language Da Schneib, as I said the worst insults are not in crude language because depending how this interpreted Da Schneib you had take it as trixi40 intended it to taken in the context of the comments -
granville583762
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 18, 2018
Comments in kind
Puns on Language
Da Schneib> @granville, nothing but shock works

Da Schneib:- concerning language and putting your foot in it by not fitting in and walking out the door as RNP because of translation cultural problems
Trixi40 used to call RNPs translation problem "A Knights Move Transgression" as a mathematical derivation of language Da Schneib, as I said the worst insults are not in crude language because depending how this interpreted Da Schneib you had take it as trixi40 intended it to taken in the context of the comments -

barakn> *1 / 5 (1)

barakn:- as this is exactly what a round with RNP resulted in barakn, the fact that you thought fit to comment barakn although in ethereal terms, you cannot give a rating to pure fact barakn, science is learnt barakn, where as every day social activities are events so are fact an cannot be rated barakn
The only conclusion of your comment barakn is you disagree with RNPs behaviour!
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2018
I am uninterested in lying racists like @TheGOO, and it's because I consider them to be subhuman. They should be exterminated like the rabid dogs they are. If I were king of the world racism would be a capital crime and we would watch racists twitch and shake after lethal injection.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Jun 19, 2018
Little scheide namecaller shrieks
See, @Otto, this is what happens when you play games and are nasty when someone was nice to you
-So, I'm not understanding here. Do you think your name-calling is actually inflicting pain of some sort?

That's bizarre. You on drugs or something scheide?
Maybe you'd like to try apologizing and starting over
Again it's like 'cry uncle and I'll stop'. I dont get it.
Otherwise you can put up with what I'm doing forever, every time I see you posting here
-So? Already, every time little scheide posts lying bullshit, otto calls him on it. Scheide then stomps his feet and starts name-calling.
Because the fact of the matter is, you're a racist pig and you can't get better
-So little scheide, explain please where I demonstrated racism in the above thread. Come on, take another pill and try to concentrate. Put on your black hoodie and balaclava - maybe that will help.

This you?
https://youtu.be/btm46UnGFic
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Jun 19, 2018
More whining by @TheGOO. Why are you such a nasty asshole? What's the matter with you?
granville583762
5 / 5 (4) Jun 19, 2018
Ascending Everest
I can just envisage a scenario with Otto and Schnieb pick axes in hand ascending Everest
Where each expletive each results in loosing contact with their facilities as they lash out at each other with their pick axe
Ps, I can just hear Otto as he tries to defy gravity avoiding those weightless pick axes,
uh what wit and intellect might that be!
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Jun 19, 2018
More whining by @TheGOO. Why are you such a nasty asshole? What's the matter with you?
Enough names little muschi. Show me where I was racist. Explain why your brown-skinned sherpas cant be paid to pick up garbage.
rrwillsj
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 20, 2018
Since I really don't give a analtrump about the rich peoples affluenza plague, I didn't get around to reading this description of useless people chasing inedible status symbols.

Damn, I'm missing out on all the fun. I thought it was my job to insult the the bigots!

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