WATCH: Mount Everest stinks of faeces and urine

A close up photo of Mount Everest. Picture: Nanda Ram Gharti/Pexels

A close up photo of Mount Everest. Picture: Nanda Ram Gharti/Pexels

Published Apr 18, 2024


Over the years Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on earth, has attracted many mountaineers to push their limits against the most daunting of obstacles.

It has also served as the final resting place for many, and for their waste.

Standing at an impressive height of 8,848 metres, Mount Everest is situated on the border between Nepal and Tibet.

Once known as one of the most untouched and pristine places on Earth, Mount Everest has been transformed into an enormous rubbish dump.

Referred to as ‘Garbage Mountain’ in the year 2000, Everest now stands as a reminder of the toll humanity has taken on the environment.

WATCH: Heaps of rubbish left on Mount Everest

This has arisen from the ever-growing influx of climbers, a significant portion of whom neglect their responsibility to maintain cleanliness.

The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that the air is now tainted with the stench of excrement as the snow begins to melt.

Mount Everest. Picture: File

The issue of human waste management in the Himalayas is escalating, particularly in the Everest region. With the surge in human activity, the accumulation of urine and faeces becomes a persistent problem.

The climbing season takes place in April and May. There are two base camps available for climbers, one accessed from the North Ridge and the other from the South-east ridge. Prior to reaching the summit, there are three lower camps.

During the 45-day climbing season, hundreds of individuals reside at Everest Base Camp without proper toilet facilities, exacerbating the challenge of waste disposal.

Approximately 500 climbers undertake the challenging journey to reach the summit each year.

In the year 2023, Nepal granted a total of 478 permits for climbers aiming to conquer Mount Everest.

The rural municipality, which has authority over Mount Everest, implemented a new regulation for climbers this year to maintain cleanliness on the mountain.

Starting from this year, climbers from all over the globe who aim to conquer the mountain will need to acquire a toilet bag at the base camp and transport it to the summit. Upon their descent, they are obligated to surrender the bag along with their waste.

The Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee has reported that during the spring season, approximately 350 climbers visit the base camp and leave behind 70 tons of waste. This waste includes 15-20 tons of human waste, 20-25 tons of plastic and paper, and 15-20 tons of degradable kitchen waste.

IOL Travel

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