Mount Everest climbers given poo bags to help fix an unsavoury problem

Source: YouTube/ Mount Everest Video

Climbers embarking on the ascent of Mount Everest will be forced to include an unorthodox addition to their gear list in a bid to solve an unsavoury and worsening problem.

In an effort to alleviate pollution on the popular summit, climbers must take poo bags on the ascent.

The measure is part of an initiative requiring climbers to carry their waste back down from the summit to the base of the mountain.

As Everest continues to attract more than 1000 climbers each year, the problem of pollution on the icy mountain is worsening.

Nepal’s Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality will issue climbers with two poo bags each as they leave to make their way up the mountain, and each bag will have a five-kilogram capacity and can be used about six times.

The bags contain chemicals to solidify the waste and make it odourless.

The Nepal Mountaineering Association estimates that about 1200 people will be on Everest this year, each spending about two weeks in the higher camps as the attempt to reach the 8849-metre peak.

Jinesh Sindurakar of the Nepal Mountaineering Association told CNN each climber was expected to generate about 250 grams of excrement per day.

This would add to the estimated three tonnes of human excrement frozen between camps one and four on the way to the summit.

Given the freezing conditions and lack of oxygen at those heights, the waste is extremely slow to degrade, and difficult to retrieve.

Scaling Mount Everest is an expensive undertaking, with a climbing permit costing $US11,000 ($16,700).

The addition of food, gear and the payment of Sherpa guides blow that sum out to as much as $US54,000.

Pollution on Everest is a continuing problem for the local authorities, with the Nepali army last year retrieving more than 35,000 kilograms of waste and plastics from several Himalayan peaks including Everest, Lhotse, Annapurna and Baruntse according to the Nepal News.

Workers collected thousands of kilos of rubbish on Everest in 2019. Photo: Getty

In 2019, four dead bodies were discovered among 11,000 kilograms of food wrappers, plastic bottles and empty oxygen tanks on Everest during a mass cleaning exercise.

Nepalese government workers made the grisly discoveries during the month-long operation after melting snow exposed the corpses, which had been buried underneath.

Tourism Department official Danduraj Ghimire at the time said cleaners spent weeks picking up enormous amounts of rubbish that included plastic wrappings, cans, bottles, batteries, faeces and kitchen waste.

Most of the rubbish was found at Camps 2 and 3, at which climbers can rest along the way to the summit.

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