The highest mountain in the world is suffering from the high volume of tourism. During recent clean-up operations, the Nepalese army recovered four bodies and eleven tons of garbage.

In a remarkable cleanup operation in Nepal, four bodies and a skeleton were recovered from the peaks of Mount Everest and neighboring mountains, according to the “Kronen Zeitung”. In addition, eleven tons of garbage have been collected by the mountaineers since April. The extreme conditions at the highest point on earth make such operations spectacular and complex.

The countless broken tents, items of clothing, food packaging, cookers and empty water and beer cans represent considerable environmental damage. According to information from the “Konen newspaper”, this has already led to the introduction of a deposit system. Anyone caught leaving rubbish behind pays around 3,700 euros. Sherpas receive a reward if they bring rubbish back.

But it’s not just garbage that’s left behind on the mountain. The remains of mountaineers who have had accidents are also often left lying in the icy desert of the world’s highest mountain. The tabloid quotes US blogger Alan Arnette, who says that recovering a frozen corpse costs between 30,000 and 60,000 euros. That’s why the bodies are often left behind on the mountain and some are even used as trail markers.

The environmental emergency on Mount Everest has prompted the Nepalese army to carry out repeated cleanup tours in the Himalayas since 2019. They claim to have recovered almost 120 tons, 14 bodies and several skeletons. Before that, private individuals recognized the problem. Deutsche Welle accompanied one of the self-organized actions.

The entrepreneur Dawa Steven initiated the “Eco Everest Expedition” with his company Asia Trekking. 150 climbers from 18 countries collected almost 19 tons of garbage from the mountain slopes. According to the foreign broadcaster, Steven also came up with a solution to the problem of leftover excrement, so-called “poop bags”. According to information from the BBC, these will be mandatory for mountaineers in February 2024.

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