The Nepalese government has removed slightly more than 24,000 pounds of garbage from Mount Everest, according to The Associated Press. In their purge of thethe cleaners have also uncovered four dead.
Danduraj Ghimire, Tourism Department official, said the 11-tonne of the 45-day project included food packaging, cans, bottles and empty oxygen cylinders. The clearing of the mountain was extremely difficult due to the unpredictable weather conditions, the inaccessibility of certain areas and the associated dangers.
Ghimire said the four bodies had been found by the cleaners in melting snow and taken to the base camp before departure. AP reported that they had been taken to a hospital in the capital for identification. None of the bodies was identified and it is not known when they died.
A portion of the waste was flown with military helicopters to Kathmandu, Nepal's capital. Officials presented it to the recyclers in a ceremony to officially finalize the project, reports the AP. "Unfortunately, part of the garbage collected in sacks at the South Col could not be taken away due to bad weather," Ghimire said Wednesday.
According to AP, the mission was "successful," according to official figures, but part of the snow-covered garbage needs to be collected once temperatures rise. In addition, 300 climbers have died on Everest since 1953, but officials are not sure how many bodies are left on the mountain.
While the exact amount of garbage on the mountain is unknown, climbers report that human excrement used oxygen cylinders. Torn tents, ropes, broken ladders, cans and plastic covers contaminate the slopes after decades of climbing, Reuters said.
With at least eleven casualties this was theon Mount Everest since 2015. Nepal granted 381 permits – – ever