Tuesday 17 September 2019

24,000lb of rubbish and four dead bodies removed in Everest clean-up

Nepalese officials said cleaners spent weeks collecting food wrappings, cans, bottles and empty oxygen cylinders.

(David Cheskin/PA)
(David Cheskin/PA)

By Binaj Gurubacharya, Associated Press

A clean-up expedition on Mount Everest has removed 24,200lb of rubbish and four dead bodies from the world’s highest mountain, Nepalese officials said.

Tourism Department official Danduraj Ghimire said the cleaners spent weeks collecting food wrappings, cans, bottles and empty oxygen cylinders.

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Workers load rubbish into trucks (Bikram Rai/AP)

Some of the waste was flown to Kathmandu and handed to recyclers in a ceremony to officially conclude the cleaning campaign.

Officials called it a successful mission but said more rubbish still needs to be collected. Some is covered by snow and is only exposed when temperatures rise.

Officials have not been able to estimate exactly how much waste is on the mountain. Most was at Camps 2 and 3, where climbers rest on the route from base camp to the 29,035ft summit.

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Porters transport supplies around Everest base camp (David Cheskin/PA)

Mr Ghimire said the four bodies were exposed by melting snow and were carried to base camp and then flown to a hospital in Kathmandu for identification.

Climbers struggling to make it down the mountain alive are sometimes unable to carry out the bodies of team-mates who have died.

More than 300 climbers have died on Everest since it was first conquered in 1953. It is unclear how many bodies are still on the mountain, and officials said they have no records.

Hundreds of climbers and their guides and porters spend weeks on Everest every spring, the best climbing season.

A tent city rises at the base camp at 17,400ft for three months between March and May.

PA Media

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