Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Mt. Everest's summit routes are highest trash dumps in the world!! - a challege to environment


Campaign against plastics, Mt. Everest. The Hindu
Trash on Mt. Everest. indiatvnews.com
With the advent of commercial mountaineering side by side with professional mountaineering summitting the tallest peak in the world is no longer a challenging one. On the contrary, it has become an Herculean  challenge and a daunting task for the Nepalese government to keep the routes to the summit clean. The slopes of Mt. Everest are no longer clean and tidy, rather they became the highest trash dumps in the world as an ever increasing number of  adventure seeking  climbers  do not care a fig to keep the places tidy. They litter around leaving an  ugly footprint  behind them. It is said "26,500 pounds of human excrement” each season, “most of it bagged and carried by native Sherpas to earthen pits near Gorak Shep, a frozen lake bed and village at 16,942 feet,” according to Grinnell College.

In 1953 when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, for the first time,  made the feat by standing atop Mt. Everest, perhaps, then this oxygen-depleted peak was the loneliest place on Earth, a scary one removed far away from the plains
Mt. Everest Trash. The Kathmandu Post - eKantipur
The problem of littering along the charted routes to the summit- the Northeast Ridge and the Southeast Ridge, has gone up to a menacing proportion as already, it is mentioned in the media, that around 600 climbers reached the peak this year  alone  the problem of trash accumulation has worsened. To get to the top climbers have to stand in long line and spend 2 to 3 hours on the high slopes and it provides  them an opportunity to litter around. They are not doing it on purpose, but are left with no other choice.
Saving Everest. Modern Hiker
To cut down on the littering menace five years ago the Nepalese introduced a naval scheme  called 'Rubbish Deposit Scheme' under which the participating team had to pay $ 4000 refundable deposit. The lure is the deposit money would be refunded if they brought down 8 kg of waste. In 2017, this scheme had a good impact on the climbers who brought down 25 tonnes of trash and 15 tonnes of human waste (according to SPCC) which otherwise would have spoiled the environment which runs the risk of facing global warming and consequent melting glaciers. The trash brought down by them is just a fraction and tons of trash lies hidden underneath the sheet of ice on the slopes. Melting glaciers have exposed the trash that has accumulated over past several decades, including remains of humans - a challenge climbers have to tackle while ascending and descending the higher slopes.
 Strewn around the Everest slopes along the routes to the summit of the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) peak.  are empty gas canisters,  discarded climbing equipment, Fluorescent tents and heaps of human excrement. It is quite nauseating site and an eye sore according to many professional climbers. "The dignity of the unpolluted mountain is ravaged by human madness and greed".

Countless climbers, having scaled the mountain top 
and become fatigued are reluctant to bring down 
18 kgs  of trash with them. Such climbers who spend 
$75000.00 to $ 100000.00 for the trip to the summit  do not care to lose the trash deposit money $4000.00. To them, it is pittance. The Nepalese government should increase the deposit amount and make it mandatory for the prospective climbers to bring down 10 to 12 kgs of trash.  To help the climbers Sherpas and workers carry heavier items, including tents, oxygen cylinders and ropes, up the mountain — and then down again. Decades ago invariably climbers carry the heavy stuff and engage the Sherpas as guides. In the present scenario, during the summer season more people are on the mountains and because of melting ice that washes the trash down, the water resources  down the valley get polluted. The raw sewage in the base camp moves down to some places and during the monsoon season is flushed into the near-by river. There is a proposal on the anvil to install bio gas near the base camp. Turing the climbers poo into fertilizer is a good proposition and this will cut down the flow of sewage down the valley.
Saving mt. Everest. TreeHugger
 Future climbers  must respect the sentiments of Nepalese and Sherpas who venerate the mountain peaks  and attach divinity to them like American Native Indians. They must come up with some means to reduce the trash they dump on the mountains. "The two standard routes, are not only dangerously crowded but also disgustingly polluted, with garbage leaking out of the glaciers and pyramids of human excrement befouling the high camps,” mountaineer Mark Jenkins wrote in a 2013 National Geographic article on Everest. Down the years now, the pollution problems on the higher Himalayas continue unabated and there is no semblance of slowing down.

 http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-life/mt-everest-the-highest-dump/article24188496.ece

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/03/decades-of-human-waste-have-made-mount-everest-a-fecal-time-bomb/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d521ec2296e8