Mt Everest climbers will have to clear their own poop. Here's why | Trending - Hindustan Times

Mount Everest climbers will have to clear their own poop, bring it back to base camp. Here's why

ByTrisha Sengupta
Feb 09, 2024 12:26 PM IST

8,000 specialised poo bags will be procured from the US ahead of the climbing season in March. About 400 climbers and 800 support staff will need the bags.

Mount Everest climbers will have to pick up their own poop and bring it back to the base camp. Why? As per the Chairman of the local Pasang Lhamu rural municipality, the excrement left behind by the climbers is making the mountains stink.

The climbers have to buy specialised poo bags before embarking on their journey to climb Mount Everest. (REUTERS)
The climbers have to buy specialised poo bags before embarking on their journey to climb Mount Everest. (REUTERS)

"We are getting complaints that human stools are visible on rocks and some climbers are falling sick. This is not acceptable and erodes our image," the chairman, Mingma Sherpa, told the BBC. Hence, the climbers will be ordered to buy poo bags before embarking on their journey to climb the world's highest peak.

Also Read: 'Heartbreaking': Video of garbage on Mt Everest goes viral

How do climbers answer nature's call in the mountains?

When mountaineers are at the base camp, they have access to separate toilet tents, reports the BBC. However, during climbing, they tend to dig holes in the snow to poop. Once they go higher, due to less snow, they have to poop in the open. Very few people make the effort to bring back their excrement in biodegradable bags. As a result, the remaining excrement, which doesn’t fully degrade due to extreme temperatures, causes the problem.

About the specialised poo bags:

The non-government organisation Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) is procuring the bags with authorisation from Pasang Lhamu rural municipality, reports the BBC. For the upcoming climbing season in March, SPCC will bring 8,000 poo bags from the US. The bags are for about 400 foreign climbers and nearly 800 support staff. The bags use powders and chemicals that help in solidifying the poo and make it mostly odourless.

Also Read: Now you can actually turn your poop into ash thanks to this toilet. Watch

Chhiring Sherpa, Chief Executive Officer of SPCC said that a climber produces about 250 grams of excrement per day. Also, a climber spends around two weeks on the summit attempt.

"With that as the basis, we plan to give them two bags, each of which they can use five to six times," he added.

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