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Everest climbers will have to collect their own waste

  • March 26, 2024
  • 2 min read
Everest climbers will have to collect their own waste

One of the most challenging tasks on the planet is scaling the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on earth, and one that has skyrocketed in popularity recently. However, many have complained about how crowded the mountain has become and with it, the mess left behind, including faeces.

As the next climbing season gets underway next month, authorities have imposed a new rule for climbers about removing their own waste as they climb up and down the mountain. Pollution caused by human waste has been a problem for years and the authorities have mandated that climbers must remove their waste using biodegradable bags in response to this problem.  

One official said that it will be a permanent rule change. “By mandating the use of biodegradable poop bags, we hope to initiate significant positive change and protect this world heritage site from further damage caused by … human waste pollution,” chairman of the municipality Mingma Sherpa wrote in an email. This will be a permanent practice from the next season of Everest Summit.”

Previously, climbers were expected to dig holes as a way of disposing their waste.

The Nepal Mountaineering Association issues permits to climbers and has yet to update its guidance. Its website still expects climbers to “defecate in individual small holes that you cover with snow after use.” Groups are expected to use temporary latrines at least 20cm deep. If climbers are unable to, they are asked to leave it exposed to the sun so that “decomposition will be quicker.”

Earlier, the last surviving member of the first expedition to ever reach the summit criticised the number of people on the mountain, complaining that it was to crowded and polluted.

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