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Once a favorite destination for the most daring climbers, now a mountain of waste. We are talking about Everest and the sad phenomenon of the abandonment of garbage that now concerns it closely. Incivility at high altitudes, the result of growing commercial shipments.
On April 14, the umpteenth cleaning campaign promoted by the government of Nepal and scheduled for forty-five days. The team sent to Everest has so far collected about three tons of waste including plastic, cans, bottles and abandoned climbing equipment. The forecast is to recover a total of eleven tons of waste, going as far as Camp 4.
The part of the biodegradable garbage was left in the Namche region to be managed on site. Non-degradable waste was transported by helicopter to Kathmandu. In addition to the extraordinary collection of garbage, the Nepalese team faces another problem. The melting of glaciers linked to global warming is in fact bringing to light the bodies of the mountaineers who died in the climb Everest. Several bodies have already been identified and the program plans to recover them and take them downstream.
What are commercial shipments
Commercial expeditions are an activity that allows amateur climbers to climb the most famous peaks of the Himalayas with the support of Western and Sherpa guides. The most beaten peaks are the most famous: not only Everest but also K2 and theLove Dablam. The rise is based on Himalayan climbing style which includes a series of stages. For each a field is installed at ever higher altitudes.
Incivility at high altitudes
It is not the first time that cleaning expeditions have been organized on Everest. As reported in Global Timesfor example, in April 2018, China recovered 8.5 tons of garbage. Much of the waste found was made up of plastic and excrement. But not only. The environment was also polluted by the abandonment of material usually used during climbing: from jackets to oxygen cylinders, from tents to food containers.
An unsustainable picture that caused by mass tourism, which transformed Everest from an immaculate mountain to an open-air dump. Enough to push to a firm and unexpected decision. In February 2019, China decided to restrict access to the Tibetan base camp. The climb of the 8,848 meters of Everest will be allowed only to three hundred climbers a year, after having obtained a special permit.
If wild tourism, moreover, is king even on the highest peaks in the world, one can only intervene with tough measures. Hoping that the awareness message is correctly received.