Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mt. Everest's filthy secret: It's a dump

Exhausted climbers have left behind a trail of debris — and lots of excrement.

Please pick up after your climb.  

The world this week is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first successful effort to reach the top of the world's highest peak. But environmental activists are using the occasion to call attention to the tons and tons of garbage — and human excrement — that have been left on Mt. Everest's slopes in the decades since Sir Edmund Hillary and his Nepalese Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, made their historic climb. And the picture they are painting isn't pretty.

Here, a look at the mess, by the numbers:

Expeditions that try to reach Everest's 29,029-foot peak in a typical year. "There were just people everywhere," one climber, Ayisha Jessa of London, tells the International Business Times.

Conservative estimate of the number of people who have reached the top in the past 60 years. Everest is no longer "a wilderness experience," says mountaineer Graham Hoyland. "It's a McDonald's experience."

Climbers who reached the top of Everest in just one day in 2012.

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