They say the dream of all the mountain climbers is to climb the Everest one day. They all dream of that and it is actually the rich and wealthy who afford this journey because the journey requires a lot of requirements to be completed.
Since Sir Edmund Hillary reached the 8,848 meter (29,029-foot) peak of Everest which is known as Chomolungma in Tibet and Sagarmatha in Nepal- in 1953, thousands of people have tried to reach the summit. So, the tragedy of this situation is that they carry so many things up the mountain and only a few things really return back to the mountain slopes.
You may come across the dead bodies of the hikers which are not in a state to carry down and also the leftovers of their camping, broken equipment, used gas canisters, food packets and the excrement are a common sight now a day.
Pemba Dorje Sherpa told AFP that “It is disgusting, an eyesore. The mountain is carrying tons of waste”.
Both Tibetan and Nepal governments have tried to encourage climbers to bring back the goods they carry up even by fining them and Tibet fines climbers US$100 per kilogram they leave behind and Nepal fine $4000 deposits per team that’s refunded if each member brings down at least 8 kilograms (18 pounds) of rubbish.
So, as a result on the Nepal side, climbers return 25 tonnes of trash and 15 tonnes of excrement but, when considering about the heap of garbage in the summit, it is only a very small portion. In fact, many tourists who have already spent up to $100,000 for the trek, simply don’t care about the deposit.
Bags full of human waste, tents, and garbage left behind by climbers above Camp II on Mt Everest. Photo courtesy: David Liaño
In a report conducted around 2016, it was found out that local Sherpas remove 11,793 kg (26,000 pounds) of human feces from the mountain every season and dump them in the trenches in a nearby village. This is something really pathetic because it is really hard for locals to live with this condition especially, during the monsoon season as everything gets flushed downhill into the river.
There are a lot of researchers carrying on to find a solution for this massive nature massacre and engineers are currently looking for a solution to convert the waste pits into biogas plant to convert the waste into renewable fuel.
Though China’s Everest clean up brought down 8.5 tonnes of waste between April and June this year and the Sagarmatha pollution control committee has been in operation on the Nepal side since 1991, the responsibility of protecting Everest actually lies in our hands.
If we can make sure that we do not dump anything to mother nature, then it will be one giant step for a better tomorrow.