“Mountains Have Begun to Stink”: Everest Municipality Mandates Climbers to Carry Back Their Bodily Waste

Published 02/08/2024, 1:26 PM EST

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If you think climbing Mount Everest is the biggest challenge for those looking to conquer the highest peak, think again. Hikers have been treated to an unpleasant sight that is now getting out of hand. Human waste has been one of the biggest problems that mountaineers have been facing on Everest. According to an unofficial count, an estimated amount of three tonnes of human waste is said to be present between the camps one and four. To preservee the serenity of the mountain range, the Pasang Lhamu rural municipality has come up with a solution. According to the new rules, hikers on Mount Everest will now be prohibited from excreting out in the open. They will have to carry their excrement back to the base camp, subject to inspection. 

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Such a measure is expected to drastically improve the experience of the hikers, which at present, is largely marred by the presence of human waste lying in the open. So what exactly are the new directives?

Municipality aims to beautify Mt. Everest with new hiking directives

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While there are no proper disposal methods available at the peaks, hikers often tend to excrete in the open. Even though the idea is that the waste would decompose, the extremities of nature hamper the decomposition process significantly. Thus, several accounts of hikers getting sick due to infection were recorded. 

In order to restore the sanctity of the mountain, several campaigns have recently been organized to clean the human excrement. This also included a huge annual clean-up from the Nepali army. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of the waste has begun to affect the overall integrity of Mt. Everest. This was reflected in the words of the chairman of the Pasang Lhamu rural municipality, Mingma Sherpa, “Our mountains have begun to stink.” 

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However, this problem seems to be taken seriously now. According to the new directives, hikers opting to attempt the climb will be provided with a couple of bags to take care of the defecation process. Further, after the hikers return to the base camp, a thorough checking will be done to ensure that the regulations have been duly followed. 

In fact, such techniques of waste management are a common practice in most parts of the world. As rightly pointed out by Mingma Sherpa, these bags are used in the Antarctic, and also on North America’s highest peak, Mount Denali. 

In order to avoid confusion regarding how the plan would work, a detailed explanation has been provided by the authorities. 

Authorities double down on the perfect execution 

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According to the reports, almost 8000 bags will be acquired from the US to cater to the hikers in the upcoming season. As per the estimation, there will be approximately 400 foreign climbers, along with 800 support staff. It has also been informed that the bags are specially designed with a formulation of powder and chemicals that will help the human waste to stay solid and avoid any odors. 

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Each of the bags can be utilized for five to six times on an average. Hopeful of the success of the new rule, the President of the Expedition Operators Association (Nepal), Dambar Parajuli, stated, It certainly is a positive thing, and we will be happy to play our part to make this successful.” 

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Do you think the new directives will be helpful? Share with us your opinions in the comments below. 

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Written by:

Disita Sikdar

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Words have the power to inspire and unite, and I am dedicated to making that happen! As a passionate Viral Sports writer at EssentiallySports, my past experiences as a content creator and social media manager have only fueled my drive to bring the world of sports to life. My love affair with American sports finds its epicenter in WWE. Since childhood, I have been enthralled by the dazzling world of WWE, captivated by its awe-inspiring storylines that blur the lines between sports and theatre! My coverage brings out the electrifying excitement of WWE, the poetic beauty of Soccer, and the fierce battles on the Tennis court.
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Edited by:

Rohan Karnad

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