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Apa Sherpa Cleans Up Mount Everest

By Guest Blogger in Everest Base Camp, The Himalaya - 12th June 2009

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Following up on my earlier post on the heroic Apa Sherpa, I've found a nice ecology related post.

Cleaning up Mount Everest
Mount Everest is the primary source of water for the communities that live around the mountain, but the waste left at the top is contaminating that water source, as well as compromising the beauty and integrity of what is considered a sacred place for the sherpa people.
Apa is the perfect representative for this trip, not only because he has climbed Mount Everest more times than any other sherpa or climber in the world, but also because he is a direct victim of the climate change in the himalayas.  Half of his property and land were washed away in the a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood in 1985, when the Dig Cho glacier lake burst due to glacial melting and caused flash flooding.

Nearly 9,000 meters above sea level and dangerous to reach, Mount Everest would seem a likely place to be free of litter and waste. However, you may be surprised to know that climbers over the past 50 years have left a staggering 50 tons of trash and debris and human waste along the summit. This has prompted the worldss most experienced sherpa to join forces with the Eco Everest expedition for his 19th ascent of Mount Everest, this time not for a climbing expedition, but rather for a conservation expedition.

Apa Sherpa and company left today on their journey and will use this trip to highlight the devastating effects of the global climate crisis on Mount Everest, where global warming is causing the snow at the summits to melt at a rapid rate. Along the way, they plan on filling hundreds of rubbish sacks with human waste and litter left behind by previous climbers.

Last year in a similar expedition, the group gathered nearly 2,100 pounds of waste while Eco Everest researched ecological mountaineering practices.

Using his 19th climb as an environmental statement, Apa Sherpa and the Eco Everest crew of 40 men hope to focus international attention on the damages being done to Mount Everest by those both on its peaks, as well as around the world.

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