Garbage being collected from Everest region. (File photo/Khabarhub)
KATHMANDU: A plan to clear 35,000kg of rubbish from Everest and five other Himalayan peaks has been slammed by some of Nepal’s leading mountaineers, BBC reported.
The government says the army will be used for the task, which will cost 860 million Nepali rupees . Last year, they managed to clear about 10,000kg of waste from the region.
But Kami Rita Sherpa – who has scaled the world’s highest mountain a record 24 times – says they do not have the skills to reach the highest points.
“They collected garbage from lower altitudes,” Sherpa told BBC Nepali, adding: “They should mobilize Sherpas to clean up garbage from higher elevations.
“Only Sherpa guides and porters can do that. They should be given proper compensation to clean up the mountains.”
The six peaks – Everest, Lhotse, Pumori, Amadablam, Makalu and Dhaulagiri – attract climbers from around the world each year, who often abandon oxygen and cooking gas cylinders, climbing gear and other rubbish like food wrappers, cans and bottles in their attempts to reach the summits.
But the climbs are not without danger, and numerous people die each year – Everest saw 11 deaths in 2019. Many of the bodies are left on the mountains, so need to be brought down as part of the cleanup.
But it is particularly difficult to bring items down from the higher reaches. In some cases, bodies and rubbish have lain for decades in the snow and ice.
“Climbing Sherpas are the right people to clean up the peaks,” Purba Tashi Sherpa, who’s scaled Everest 21 times, said. “The government should keep that in mind.”