Pack it out

In a colder place, Sherpas are picking up garbage left on Mount Everest by climbers. There’s a lot of it.

The highest camp on the world’s tallest mountain is littered with garbage that is going to take years to clean up, according to a Sherpa who led a team that worked to clear trash and dig up dead bodies frozen for years near Mount Everest’s peak.

The Nepal government-funded team of soldiers and Sherpas removed 11 tons (24,000 pounds) of garbage, four dead bodies and a skeleton from Everest during this year’s climbing season.

But there are maybe 40 to 50 tons left.

Since the peak was first conquered in 1953, thousands of climbers have scaled it and many have left behind more than just their footprints.

I hate that “conquered” trope. It’s so stupid and so pointlessly aggressive. Why can’t the word just be “climbed”?

Of the 11 tons of garbage removed, three tons of decomposable items were taken to villages near Everest’s base and the remaining eight were carried by porters and yaks and then taken by trucks to Kathmandu. There it was sorted for recycling at a facility operated by Agni Ventures, an agency that manages recyclable waste.

Nice of all those “conquerors” to leave all that crap on other people’s mountain.

Why do climbers leave garbage behind?

“At that high altitude, life is very difficult and oxygen is very low. So climbers and their helpers are more focused on saving themselves,” Khadga said.

Then don’t go. If you can’t climb the mountain without leaving all your garbage behind, then don’t climb the mountain. Nobody needs you to climb the mountain, so don’t.

By the way its name is not Everest, it’s Chomolungma.

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