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'Human waste' a major issue for Mount Everest

Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 5:21 PM - Every year, more than 700 climbers spend roughly 60 days on Mount Everest and 'human waste' is becoming a serious concern.

The slopes of the famous mountain contain a large amount of feces and urine, according to Ang Tshering, chief of Nepal's mountaineering association. Tshering told reporters that the issues needs to be addressed urgently by Nepal's government if Mount Everest is going to return to its pristine condition.

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Climbers spend time at different base camp in order to acclimatize to the altitude. The camps don't have toilets but usually the wastage is stored in fuel drums before being rolled down to a lower altitude. Climbers don't seem to be following the 'rules,' instead improvising their own washroom.

"Climbers usually dig holes in the snow for their toilet use and leave the human waste there," Tshering said. Add years and years of climbers visiting the mountain to the equation and it becomes obvious how this is giant problem.

The government does not have a plan in place yet, according to the Associated Press, but will start monitoring garbage more closely at the base of the mountain. Rules are currently in place, forcing every climber to bring down about 8 kilograms of trash or risk losing their $4000 deposit for non-compliance.

Many visitors do take precautionary measures regarding their toilet needs, including travel toilet bags.

More than 4,000 people have climbed Mt. Everest since 1953.

Sources: Associated Press

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