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article imageMt. Everest: World’s Highest Garbage Dump?

By Chris V. Thangham     Jul 17, 2008 in Environment
Mt. Everest is the highest mountain in the world and soon it might be getting another title: "World's Highest Garbage Dump." According to estimates, there are nearly 120 tons of litter and 120 dead bodies on Mt. Everest.
The climbers, either after conquering Mt. Everest or making an attempt to conquer it, leave behind their high-tech climbing equipment, plastics, food, tins, oxygen tanks, aluminum cans, clothes, glass, papers, tents especially along the Southeast Ridge, the most popular route to the summit.
The route consists of a base camp at 17,600 feet and four more camps closer to the summit. Nearly 50 tons of trash can be found at these five camps since the first successful expedition by Hillary and Tenzing. Others estimate even a higher amount about 120 tons of waste.
Most of them are so much concerned about their health, trash is the least of the climbers' worries.
Besides the trash that gets accumulated, nearly 120 dead bodies of climbers are strewn across the trail and "frozen in time." There are no means to bring them back to the base either for burial or for funeral pyre rites.
China is trying to do something about it to clean up Mt. Everest by limiting the climbers from its side of the highest mountain.
Zhang Yongze, director of the Tibet told Xinhua in an interview
We need to limit the number of people who want to climb Mt Qomonlangma (Mt Everest) who exert a negative impact on the environment.
However, the Chinese route to the summit is not the most favored route for the climbers who prefer the Nepalese side. But since the restrictions are aren't as severe from the Nepalese government, more litter can be found in that route.
Unless something is done real soon, Mt. Everest will get the dubious title, as well. I don't think either the late Sir Edmund Hillary or Tenzing Norgay will feel proud about it.
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