New regulations for Everest

6:47 p.m. on August 13, 2013 (EDT)
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6:25 p.m. on August 29, 2013 (EDT)
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Rules to replace ethics and courtesy

2:56 a.m. on August 30, 2013 (EDT)
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"helicopter travel will now be restricted to rescue missions only." So much for the beer coming in on heli, Some climbers liked to travel to base camp direct and skip the busy trek in.....might have also wanted to skip all the chances of getting sick on the way in. There will still be a lot of heli activity though.

8:39 a.m. on September 2, 2013 (EDT)
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How about a "pack it in, pack it out" policy for Everest!

4:17 p.m. on September 2, 2013 (EDT)
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That would be great for the Sherpas, who would be going up to pack out all the bottles. But there is all the frozen .... Stuff: poo and pee that is rigjt by the tents high up on the mountain. I think there are one or rwo expeditions a year for cleaning up and there are tons of refuse coming down from those.

You would be hard pressed to get it out during season. The shear numbers of people and then there is the fact many many coming down are barley abke to get themselves down, let alone extea loafs of rubish.

8:09 a.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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giftogab said:

You would be hard pressed to get it out during season. The shear numbers of people and then there is the fact many many coming down are barley abke to get themselves down, let alone extea loafs of rubish.

 Sorry. No pity here--You climb it and take care of it; or you don't climb it.

This is the typical Western mindset of pleasure over responsibility.

9:18 a.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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And don't they also leave fixed climbing ropes to rot on the mountain? 

11:11 a.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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The practice for several years now has been to remove the fixed lines at the end of the season, along with the tents and other gear. For the most part, the removal is done by Sherpas and other locals under the Nepali National Parks organization on the south side and the Chinese government on the north side. The north side has truck roads going much closer to the mountain than the south, where yaks are needed to get stuff much farther out. Paying for the effort is one reason the fees are so high. It isn't perfect, but a lot better than it was 10 years ago.

Karen is right that "pack it in, pack it out" hasn't been very successful to date, largely because the client climbers by and large are inexperienced and pretty much at their physical limits by the end of their climb. That's why there are an increasing number of expeditions dedicated to cleanup, along with the Nepali and Tibetan (Chinese) government efforts that are being undertaken these days.

There is a company that remakes the recovered oxygen bottles in to various decorative items, such as bells, with most of the proceeds going to the clean-up efforts.

One big difference between Everest and places where LNT is reasonably successful (like Denali, Anarctica, and, increasingly, the Andes) is that the climbers in those areas are generally more experienced and have been exposed to the clean climbing ethic, along with programs like the Denali "Clean Mountain Can" program. In Antarctica, as I mention in my Return to Antarctica 2010-11 trip report, there is an international treaty that requires removal of human waste and artifacts (except for some historical artifacts). Companies like Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions and some of the commercial guide services that operate in the Andes and others of the Great Ranges are making efforts to reduce the impacts of humans. There are research groups, like the Climber Science Program which I participate in, that are studying the problems in conjunction with the national environmental ministries.

There is a long way to go, but at least a start has been made and awareness is being raised. Ya know, it is the responsibility of all of us who go into the outdoors to practice good stewardship of the places we go and to support the efforts of those who are doing something about it. Complaining and condemning those who are still unaware of their impact doesn't help. Help train others and support those who are making a difference, like Leave No Trace (www.lnt.org) and the Climber Science program, along with the several Himalayan groups.

2:47 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Goose,

I certainly don't disagree with you at all. just stating the state of things if you will. As BillS pointed out, these Everest Quest guided climbers are often not able physically to do much of anything. One answer could be to not allow them. The permit on the south side is over 60k per climber for a fully attended climb to the summit. I am sure to eliminate these folks would be a financial catastrophe for Nepal...at last the Sagmartha district. I am glad things are changing and, again as BillS pointed out, most stuff now comes down in the hands and on the backs of the sherpas and yaks. It is a 4 day hike out from base camp in Nepal and YAKS are not even allowed to stay overnight at Base Camp any longer. An flying any loadsout is not going to be happening given the new no flying out of Everest Base Camp unless it is critical medical. Certainly is a dilema, but a lot has been accomplished so far in an effort to get where it needs to be.

2:48 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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BillS.. I have even read in this years summit reports and activities on Everest that are posted on Allen Arnett's blog and linked over to the teams that there are still old ropes left even as recently as 2012. Maybe the rule exceeds its implimentation?

8:49 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Gift-O,

I don't doubt that there is a lot of trash, including the ropes and the intermediate pickets that the ropes are anchored to, along with tents, tent parts, oxygen bottles, cameras, satphones, Gameboys, etc etc sitting out in the open and buried under the snow and ice. The thing is that the effort is being made, largely by the Sherpas being paid by the government and some foundations. It will take years, and given the dangers, loss of more than a few lives, to get the mountain back to a semblance of a wild place. It took a number of years and a lot of dedicated effort to clean up the normal route on Aconcagua. And that's at much lower altitude. Cleaning up the West Buttress route on Denali was easier by comparison, since the requirement of using the Clean Mountain Cans and inspection of what you brought out (with weighing of the trash from freeze-dry wrappers) was applied to everyone on the mountain a few years back (there is still a problem with climbers from certain countries who have a different outlook about the environment, but they too have to get their trash weighed or pay the penalty fine).

1:33 p.m. on September 5, 2013 (EDT)
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OGBO, Yes, it is wonderful that progress is being made for sure. I am glad for that. I agree with all your points. Just had noticed talk about different things about the old fixed ropes this last season in blogs and of course, over the eyars, some of those ropes were the death of people!

2:36 a.m. on September 6, 2013 (EDT)
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Now that climbing high mountains is big business, it follows that big problems have ensued. There has been problems on Everest since the early days with the disposal of things like oxygen cylinders. It is a place that takes a lot of effort to get to, even the Basecamp. People don't have much determination to do the right thing and take out their trash on their way out They just want to go home.

September 16, 2014
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