Over 13,000 kilograms of human poop have been carried off Mount Everest in an effort to clean the mountain.
It’s part of a larger clean up that has seen over 31,000 kilograms of wasted brought down from around camp two and base camp.
Some of the waste has been on the mountain for over a decade and the poop has been piling up for years.
Over 1,000 tips were made over two months to remove that much waste and the plan is to have all of the waste off Everest within the next few years.
“The two standard routes, the Northeast Ridge and the Southeast Ridge, are not only dangerously crowded but also disgustingly polluted, with garbage leaking out of the glaciers and pyramids of human excrement befouling the high camps,” mountaineer Mark Jenkins wrote in a 2013 National Geographic article on Everest.
This is from a 2012 Washington Post opinion piece by Grayson Schaffer, an editor for Outside magazine:
“Everest even has a sewage problem. When base camp’s outhouse barrels are filled, porters haul them to open pits near Gorak Shep. Meanwhile, above base camp, most climbers straddle small crevasses to relieve themselves. The result: The peak has become a fecal time bomb, and the mess is gradually sliding back toward base camp.
“In 2012, Swiss climber Ueli Steck told me that he won’t even boil snow for water at Everest’s camp two, because he thinks the lower boiling temperature at that altitude won’t kill germs.”
As Sherpa Pemba Nima told SummitClimb.com when asked about pollution coming from the Everest base camp, the problem extends beyond the mountain to the watershed below.
“Ohh… awful… Pollution everywhere. Our main water source has been polluted. The dumping site is along the main trail to EBC, sometimes our local animals (yaks) fall into the pit. Even though it has been moved to different location now, I think it takes so many years to disintegrate because of the cold climate the pollution will remain there for many years.”
According to the recent report, “Most of the garbage was collected in Base Camp and at Camp II, with 34,043 pounds of it being taken to Namche Bazaar for waste management.
“That trash falls under the combustable category, meaning that it can be burned after removable.
“A further 4,949 pounds of non-combustable materials was taken to Kathmandu for recycling.
“An additional 28,649 pounds of human waste and 8,840 pounds of kitchen waste were also removed from the mountain.”
“Each expedition to Everest is required to take a garbage deposit and bring their waste back,” Everest Summiteers Association general secretary Diwas Pokhrel said. “But this system has not been strictly implemented.”
Climbers poop, learn how to deal with it here.