Thursday, April 02, 2015

Himalaya Spring 2015: Indian Army To Clear Trash From Everest

One of the major stories surrounding Everest that seems to rear its ugly head each spring is how the mountain has become a massive trash heap over the past two decades. While it is true that commercial climbing on the world's tallest mountain has had an adverse effect on the environment there, in recent years there has been a concerted effort to reverse that trend and to focus on cleaning up the mountain. Those efforts will continue this year with teams now required to carry out all of their trash, while others focus solely on removing waste that has been left on Everest from past expeditions.

According to a report from Time magazine, a team of 34 climbers from India will travel to Nepal this spring to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that country's first successful expedition to the summit of Everest. But rather than focusing on trying to reach the top, they'll have an entirely different goal in mind. The group – which are all members of the Indian Army – will be looking to remove more than 4000 kg (8800 pounds) of non-biodegradable trash from the mountain.

Team leader Ranveer Singh Jamval says that their efforts are to not to just clean up the tallest mountain on the planet, but also carry out an ambitious goal by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is making a similar push back home. Modi has institute a number of initiatives in his country aimed at cleaning up roads and other public spaces of trash. A task that is a major undertaking in a nation that has over 1 billion people.

While the state of environmental affairs on Everest is always good for making splashy headlines, it is important that people understand that there are efforts being made to clean up the mountain considerably. The Indian team is only one group that is doing so, but their work deserves to be recognized and saluted.

Meanwhile, in Kathmandu the climbers continue to arrive in droves. Earlier today Nick Cienski was amongst those that reached Nepal's capital city. He's the climber who has set an ambitious goal of summiting six 8000-meter peaks in a single year. He'll get things started this spring with Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu. He'll now organize his gear and get ready to head out to the mountains soon, with Himex providing support for his expedition.

Finally, there is no change in the conditions on Annapurna, where the weather is still keeping the climbers in Base Camp. Several teams are ready to launch their summit bids there, but with heavy snow falling on the mountain it simply isn't safe to proceed up at the moment. Hopefully they'll get there chance soon.

That's all for today. More to come soon.

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