There’s Too Much Human Waste on Mount Everest

Written by Jolene Latimer

Mount Everest, once imagined to be a pristine and foreboding emblem of nature, is now full of human waste, and that waste is causing pollution issues and spreading disease, according to officials in Nepal.

The chief of Nepalís mountaineering association, Ang Tshering, said Tuesday that the 700 annual visitors to the mountain are leaving behind special treats that the Nepalese arenít down for.

The human feces and urine can be found in such great amounts that no oneís quite sure what to do with them.

Tshering added that the Nepalese government needs to do a better job making sure climbers clean up after themselves.

There are four camps between the base camp and the summit but none of these camps have toilets. Climbers typically dig holes for their waste, but Tshering says theyíve been doing this for years and now the waste has piled up around the camps.

At base camp waste is stored in drums which are transported to lower elevations when full.

Though there isnít a plan in place for dealing with the waste at the camps above base camp, the government currently requires each climber to carry out 18 pounds of garbage when they leave, or risk losing a $4000 deposit.

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This post originally appeared on RYOT.

Photo Credit: Abd allah Foteih

87 comments

Mark Donners
Mark Donner3 years ago

Apparently this is the kind of human that climbs Everest, they either leave their corpse or their s**t. Why don't they just put an outhouse on top of a hill and charge tens of thousands to plant their flag in the outhouse. All those Everest climbing wannabes will get two bonuses the outhouse and no dead body.

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william Miller
william Miller3 years ago

they should be required to carry out everything they carry in plus more

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H4 years ago

This is so disappointing to find out that one of the most awe-inspiring places has been treated like a backyard trash heap. Crank up the prices of the treks to limit the numbers who do it. It has become relatively easy for people to have access and climb with the use of sherpas that it is no longer seen as an accomplishment; now it is more like a ride at disneyland. A sad fate for a place so amazing.

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Shailja Mukhtyar
Shailja Mukhtyar4 years ago

no place on earth, left clean & green & pristine??
charge patrons !!

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Lori Hone
Lori Hone4 years ago

Every nature lover knows "what you pack in you pack out" how sad stupid humans are gone to the ends of the earth, only to destroy that too!

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Miki w.
Past Member 4 years ago

The climbers are all registered ,,,, let them pay a hefty fine for the mess they left behind,,,,

and so every body else who doesnt clean up their own mess

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Will Rogers
Will Rogers4 years ago

Put the price of climbing Everest up to 500,000 pounds. That would dissuade many, yet make the club that more exclusive, as it is now, it isn't a special thing to do anymore, you pay a paltry sum and the Sherpas will virtually carry you to the summit! You also have to step over many cadavers, with many of the reference points actually being fallen climbers! Sometimes the landscape is strewn with bodies. They have a place called rainbow valley where the tableau is comprised of colourful jackets still worn by corpses.
Sherpas carry your gear for you, consisting of luxury items including many heavy canisters of oxygen. The 18lbs rule is new, and anyway the climbers would give that to Sherpas to carry because that is what they are paid to do. Truth is...there are few people more arrogant than Everest climbers. In fact! They should ban all climbers from Everest, it's no longer a brave thing to do, and is just plain selfish.

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pam w.
pam w4 years ago

Climbers MUST be responsible for trekking out their trash. This is just obscene and I"m surprised the sherpas allow it, considering the mountains feature in their religious system.

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Katie K.
Katie K4 years ago

Well said Ron B. but this truly makes me sad. Keep the 2 legged monsters off the mountain and this wouldn't be an issue. Is no place scared. I fear for Mother Earth and hope I'm no longer here to see the aftermath of to many humans affect on Her.

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