Everest to Climbers: Bring Back 18 Lbs. of Trash

Nepal 'will not compromise' on new rule
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2014 12:03 PM CST
Everest to Climbers: Bring Back 18 Lbs. of Trash
In this May 18, 2013 photo, a climber pauses on the way to the summit of Mount Everest.   (AP Photo/Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian Ballinger)

On your next trip to Mount Everest, you'll have to bring back a not-so-scenic souvenir: at least 18 pounds of trash. That's according to new rules from the Nepalese government, which is getting sick of junk—to the tune of some 50 tons over six decades—getting left by climbers as they seek to lighten their loads. "From now on, a climber is required to bring down eight kilograms of waste, and that excludes their own empty oxygen bottles and human dung," says a tourism official, per the New York Times.

Tents and food containers are also left on what's been called "the world's highest garbage dump"—and the Times includes climbers' bodies under the "garbage" heading. What's more, cold temperatures keep the stuff from decaying. Eighteen pounds is the amount of trash officials figure climbers generate, the AP reports: "We are not asking climbers to search and pick up trash left by someone else," the tourism official notes. The plan, which involves checks at base camp, aims to remove almost eight tons of waste this year. Breaking the rule could mean a ban on climbing the mountain again, the official says. "We will not compromise on it." (More Mount Everest stories.)

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