The world’s tallest and most famous mountain is a thing of beauty… From a distance. The reality is that Mount Everest, when you get up close, is covered in rubbish – and it’s becoming a big problem.
When Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary made the first documented ascent of Everest in 1953, climbing the iconic mountain was something only the bravest, most skilled and most prepared mountaineers could ever hope to do. But only a few decades after their pioneering ascent, Everest has become incredibly commercialised.
As National Geographic relates, hundreds of tourists attempt the summit every year – but many of them are novices who lack basic climbing skills… As well as manners.
The two most common routes to the top, the North Ridge and the Southeast Ridge, are flecked with discarded items: tents, gas canisters, and in some cases, even the corpses of climbers who perished attempting to summit. Trash on Everest has been a big issue for years, but a recent viral video by one of Everest’s most experienced mountaineers has exposed just how bad the issue’s got.
WATCH the viral video showing rubbish at an Everest base camp below.
“[It’s] the dirtiest camp I have ever seen,” Tenzi Sherpa – one of the legendary Sherpas and one of the finest mountaineers and guides on Everest – shares.
“We can see tents, empty oxygen bottles, steel bowls, spoons, sanitation pads, paper… I feel so sad every time cause I have seen many times doing expedition groups [that] companies cut their logos [out] and leave there all the tents for the rest.”Tenzi Sherpa
Climbers on Everest are, theoretically, required to bring back their own rubbish, but in practice this often doesn’t happen.
There have been many initiatives over the years to try and clean up Everest, but the amount of trash just keeps on building. The Nepalese government has previously toyed with forcing climbers to bring down a certain amount of trash every time they climb, but policing and enforcement remain inconsistent.