Cleaning up Mount Everest – the world’s highest rubbish dump
Mount Everest has turned into a dumping ground as the growing numbers of climbers leave their trash behind on the mountain. DW reporter Jasvinder Sehgal visited base camp to meet the mountaineers cleaning up the mess.
Deepak Baijal is laying ropes, quickdraws, harnesses and other mountaineering equipment on a mat in his home in Jaipur, western India. The 34-year-old is already preparing for his ascent of Mount Everest in four month’s time.
Overcoming the world’s tallest peak unscathed takes meticulous preparation, even for an experienced mountaineer like Baijal. It will be his first time climbing beyond Everest base camp.
Nearly 300 people have perished on the mountain. But right now the scale of the dangerous challenge is not what concerns Baijal.
“I love Everest — the god of mountains — for its beauty, mystery and mood,” Baijal told DW. “But I am upset to know that it is becoming the world’s highest garbage dump.”
Baijal’s deep respect for the world’s most famous mountain is not shared by everyone who climbs it.
As the numbers of commercial trekkers and adventure holiday enthusiasts visiting the peak soar — a record 800 people reached the Himalayan summit in 2018 — so too has the amount of trash left behind.
“The growing population of people climbing means Everest is becoming a picnic spot for more of the ‘hobbyists’ rather than the previously genuine climbers,” said Baijal.
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