Nepalese Climbers Remove 2.2 Tons Of Rubbish From Everest While Tourists Away
Nepalese climbers were able to remove an astonishing 2.2 tonnes of rubbish from Mount Everest while tourists were away.
In 2019, a year when more people attempted to scale the iconic mountain than ever before, the Bally Peak Outlook initiative was launched.
Established by Swiss luxury fashion house Bally, in partnership with local Sherpas, this initiative is intended to help preserve some of the most extreme mountains and environments on Earth against the damaging effects of over tourism and global warming.
As reported by The Telegraph, the project was launched in May 2019, marking the first ever clean-up to reach the summit of Everest.
The team were able to collect more than a ton of rubbish. One month later, after the end of the season, they were able to collect another ton at basecamp.
Telegraph writer Alex Preston, who had been present for the project launch, recalled:
Everest is overrun, and it’s filthy, particularly at the higher altitudes where there is no formal scheme for disposing of empty oxygen canisters, abandoned tents and human waste that has accumulated during this period of high-altitude congestion.
The latest initiative was scheduled to begin back in early 2020, however it ended up getting delayed until September 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
This time around, the team set about cleaning up the eight highest mountains in Nepal, all of which exceed 8,000m. The first stage saw a team of 12 Nepalese climbers cleaning up the base camps of four of these mountains, including Everest. This phase kicked off on September 9, 2020 and lasted 47 days.
Led by environmental activist and mountaineer Dawa Steven Sherpa, the team travelled West to East, removing an approximate 2.2 tons of garbage from Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu.
In order to accomplish this, the team climbed two mountains (Baruntse and Mera Peak) and crossed four alpine glaciated passes.
Dawa told The Telegraph:
The strength of our human footprint. The vodka bottles that we found had not been accidentally dropped, but intentionally buried in a hole in the mountain.
But also the resilience of nature. On the 34th day of our expedition, between Everest and Makalu, we were walking where no one had walked for over a year, and we got lost. The path had grown over.
It was like nature reminding us that it only takes one year to remove the trace of human trails. Being re-united with nature, with no tourists around us, it felt like a pilgrimage. It was nature in its purest state.
Going forward, the next phase will begin at the end of the 2021 climbing season. The team will conduct a clean-up of the basecamps of Kanchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Annapurna, and will also orchestrate a third clean-up at Everest.
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