Mountain stinking: Everest climbers ordered to use waste bags
Climbers will present their full poo bags for checking upon return to the base camp
(Web Desk) - Everest climbers will now be obliged to bring their excreta back to base camp in poo bags after summiting the world’s tallest mountain, with authorities in Nepal finally cracking down on the mess left behind by mountaineers.
The new regulation comes amid mounting complaints about the volume of human waste lining the routes up the mountain, which is prevented from degrading naturally by the extreme cold temperatures.
The local municipality of Pasang Lhamu announced that climbers will be required to purchase poo bags at base camp which will be “checked upon their return”.
The rule applies to climbers of Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse, which is connected to Everest via the South Col.
The issue of human excreta has been a matter of concern for Nepal authorities for years as more and more permits are issued every year which then, experts say, lead to overcrowding on the mountains.
Such initiatives have already successfully been implemented on other mountains, such as Mount Denali in Alaska, and have reportedly been welcomed by Everest expedition operators.
The authorities say the new rule will be introduced in the lead-up to this year’s climbing season in Nepal, which starts in March and lasts until May.
Mingma Sherpa, the chairman of Pasang Lhamu rural municipality which covers much of the Everest region, told BBC News: “We are getting complaints that human stools are visible on rocks and some climbers are falling sick. This is not acceptable and erodes our image.”
He added: “Our mountains have begun to stink.”
According to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, it is estimated that there are around three tonnes of human waste scattered between camp one, located at the base of Everest, and camp four, which is closer to the summit.
Chhiring Sherpa, the chief executive of the organisation said: “Half of that is believed to be in South Col, also known as camp four.
“Waste remains a major issue, especially in higher up camps where you can’t reach.”
The issue of overcrowding is still something the authorities have not dealt with.