Climbers wanting to scale Mount Everest will be forced to bring back eight kilograms of rubbish in a bid to clean-up the world’s highest peak.
The rule, one of several new measures covering mountaineering in the Himalayan nation, will apply to climbers ascending beyond Everest’s base camp from April onwards, said tourism ministry official Madhusudan Burlakoti.
Decades of mountaineering has taken its toll on Everest which is strewn with rubbish from past expeditions, including oxygen cylinders, human waste and even climbers’ bodies, which do not decompose in the extreme cold.
Burlakoti, who is joint secretary at the ministry, said authorities would take legal action against climbers who failed to comply with the new rule, although it was unclear whether this would involve a fine or the confiscation of their mandatory deposit.
‘The government has decided in order to clean up Mount Everest that each member of an expedition must bring back at least eight kilos of garbage, apart from their own trash’, he said.
Last month Nepal slashed fees for individual climbers on the famed mountain and other Himalayan peaks to attract more mountaineers, sparking concerns of increased traffic and more rubbish.
Everest, scaled for the first time by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, is a key revenue-earner for the country, with hundreds heading there every year during the peak climbing season in April and May.