Cleaning Mount Everest – level 3

10-07-2024 07:00

Mount Everest’s highest camp is covered in garbage that will take years to clean, according to a Sherpa who led a cleanup team.

Since the first ascent in 1953, many climbers have left trash behind. The Nepal government-funded team removed 11 tons of garbage, four dead bodies, and a skeleton during this year’s climbing season. Ang Babu Sherpa, the team leader, estimates there might be 40-50 tons of garbage still at South Col, the last camp before the summit. The trash includes old tents, food packaging, gas cartridges, oxygen bottles, and ropes. The garbage is layered and frozen at 8,000 meters altitude. Although recent rules and awareness have reduced new garbage, most of the trash is from older expeditions.

Cleaning is difficult due to harsh weather, low oxygen levels, and the garbage frozen in ice. Of the 11 tons removed, three were decomposable and taken to nearby villages, while eight were transported to Kathmandu for recycling. The oldest item found was a battery from 1957.

Difficult words: cartridge (a type of container), altitude (height above sea level), decomposable (able to break down naturally).

You can watch the video news lower on this page.

What are some of the challenges faced by cleanup teams trying to remove garbage from Mount Everest's highest camp?


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