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Everest’s littered peak embarrasses Nepal

world Updated: Mar 21, 2009 00:13 IST

World’s tallest peak — Mount Everest — is pride of Nepal. But when the climate-change campaigner Eco-Everest removed more than 2,000 pounds of garbage and human waste from Mount Everest last year, the Nepalese were embarrassed about the littered peak.

After the Eco-Everest Expedition last spring, it came to fore that the world's tallest peak is muddled with climbers’ empty oxygen canisters and gear.

Moreover, human excreta, abandoned tents and packaged food wastes littered around the advance base camps.

“This is shame for us. And, we should try and keep Mount Everest as clan as possible,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of Nepal Mountaineering Association, adding mountaineers should ensure cleanliness around the 29,028-feet peak.

In fact, after the long and arduous expeditions, the climbers generally don't feel like carrying back the wastes, and are ecstatic to return to their homes and share the memories with the family members.

According to rough estimates, more than 50 tonnes of non-biodegradable garbage was left behind in Everest area since the 1950s. So far, there have been over 4,100 Everest expeditions.

Now, Eco-Everest is now planning to pay $ (US) 1 per pound for non-biodegradable waste removed from the Mount Everest area this year. The Eco-Everest is a joint campaign of the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Asian Trekking.

Everest expeditions have been a major revenue earner for the government in impoverished Nepal. All climbers need to obtain a permit, costing up to $ (US) 25,000 per person.

“We are now keen to maintain cleanliness in the Mount Everest area,” Sarad Pradhan, an official of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

The board have instructed all the trekking companies to create awareness of mountain amongst the high-altitude climbers.

Earlier, the Nepalese government had enacted a penalty for climbers who did not bring back non-bio degradable wastes after the Everest expeditions. Some of the climbers even lost their $ (US) 4,000 deposits for failing to bring back wastes.

(Nepal Correspondent, in Kathmandu)