Nepali mountaineers have recovered four bodies and gathered around 11 tons of decades-old trash from Mount Everest and its approach underneath the base camp as part of a campaign to clean up the world’s highest mountain, the government stated on Wednesday.
Mountaineers covering the 8,850-metre elevation say its slopes are littered with human excrement, used oxygen cylinders, torn camps, wires, cracked ladders, and plastic covers left behind by trekkers, an embarrassment for a nation that receives valuable income from Everest excursions.
The garbage, along with the dead bodies of some 300 individuals who have deceased over the years on Everest’s slopes, are suppressed underneath the snow during winter, but become evident when the snow melts in summer.
A clean-up squad of 20 Sherpa hikers collected five tons of litter in April and May from various camps directly above the base camp and additional six tons from the parts below, said Dandu Raj Ghimire, the director general of Department of Tourism.
“Unfortunately, some trash collected in the baggage at South Col could not be carried down due to bad weather conditions,” Ghimire said in a report on Wednesday.
Everest was first occupied by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 and around 5,000 people have since touched the summit. South Col, on the Southeast Ridge way covered by Hillary and Tenzing, is positioned at some 8,016 metres, and it is the spot of the final campsite from where mountaineers begin their summit attempts.
Cleaning movement controller Nim Dorjee Sherpa, head of the township where Mount Everest is situated, said two bodies were collected from the treacherous Khumbu Icefall and two from campsite, three position at the Western Cwm. “They were visible from the snow when the sherpas picked up and brought them down,” he said.
None of the four dead bodies have been recognized and it was not known when they died.
Nine climbers expired on the Nepali side of Everest in May while two frozen on the Tibetan side, making it the deadliest climbing period since 2015.
Hikers coming back from Everest have spoken of crowding and delays on the Nepali side just under the summit in the “death zone”, so-called since, at that altitude the lack of oxygen can be deadly. However, mountaineers and guides have blamed a host of reasons for the deaths.
Ghimire – of the Department of Tourism stated that, the losses were not because of congestion but due to bad weather conditions and short summit windows.
Nepal this year allotted 381 permits to Everest, pricing $11,000 each, a significant source of revenue for the cash-strapped nation.