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Everest 'death zone' set for a spring clean up

Twenty Nepali climbers set off for Mount Everest in mid April to try and remove decades-old garbage from the mountain in the world's highest ever clean-up campaign, organisers said recently.


Mount Everest has become the world’s highest garbage dump.

Many foreign and Nepali climbers have cleaned Mount Everest in the past but Namgyal Sherpa, leader of the Extreme Everest Expedition 2010, said no one had dared to clean above 8,000 metres (26,246 feet), an area known as the "death zone" for the lack of oxygen and treacherous terrain.

Sherpa and his team of seasoned climbers, carrying empty rucksacks and special bags, will risk the zone's thin air and freezing temperatures to pick empty oxygen bottles, gas canisters, torn tents, ropes, and utensils lying between the South Col and the 8,850 metre (29,035 feet) summit.

"This is the first time we are cleaning at that height, the death zone. It is very difficult and dangerous," said Sherpa, who has climbed Everest, the world's tallest peak, seven times.

"The garbage was buried under snow in the past. But now it has come out on the surface because of the melting of snow due to global warming," the 30-year-old said.

"The rubbish is creating problems for climbers ... Some items of garbage are from Hillary's time."


Empty gas cylinders collected during a previous expedition.

The mountain has become known as being the world's highest garbage dump. Many climbers leave their gear and trash behind as they descend due to exhaustion and lack of oxygen.

New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepal's Tenzing Norgay Sherpa were the first to ascend to Mount Everest's summit in 1953. That feat opened Nepal as a popular tourist destination.

Above the South Col is the 'death zone' area known as the toughest stretch for climbers because of low oxygen levels and rough terrain.

The team said it planned to remove at least five bodies from a narrow trail between the South Col and the 29,029ft (8,848m) summit, but has not identified them.

Of the 189 people who have died trying to conquer Everest, an estimated 120 remain there.

The bodies are left on the mountain because it is too dangerous and difficult to remove them. The frozen remains of climber George Mallory lie on a slope of Everest. The British mountaineer's body was found 75 years after he and fellow climber Andrew Irvine disappeared in 1924.

Courtesy: Internet



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