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Cleaning Up “The World’s Highest Junkyard”

Trash and human poop are making Everest a dump, but these new projects aim to de-muck the mountain.

Photo by shrimpo1967 via Wikimedia Commons

A lot has changed since Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary first scaled the freezing peaks of Mount Everest in 1953. For one thing, attempting to summit Everest, though still perilous, has become a sort of rite of passage for X-treme yuppie adventurer types. More than 4,000 people have now climbed the mountain. As a result of this growing tourist popularity, Everest has also become covered in garbage and human poop (the most dangerous of all the poops). As GOOD’s Tasbeeh Herwees put it earlier this month, “For every moneyed thrill-seeker who thinks climbing Mount Everest is a novel post-college adventure, there is a mound of human waste sitting on top of the mountain to account for their privilege.” And fecal matter is just the tip of the shit pile; the Himalayan mountain is covered with the strewn trash of expeditions past, including, according to the Daily Mail India, “tents, sleeping bags, oxygen cylinders, and even the corpses of climbers who never made it down.” Now, two new cleanup efforts are underway—one an Indian army mountaineering team that aims to clean up litter, and the other a pioneering project to turn tourist dung into a source of energy.

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Experience What it’s Like to Soar Through the Himalayas at 20,000 Feet in Ultra-HD

A jaw-dropping view of Mt. Everest and more thanks to “the most advanced gyro-stabilized camera system” on Earth

image via vimeo screen capture

There are plenty of things that might prevent someone from ever climbing a Himalayan mountain peak: lack of funds, lack of athletic ability, or—in the case of Mt. Everest—an aversion to increasingly poop-covered slopes. Whatever the reason, though, the Himalayas remain one of the most awe-inspiring sights on Earth that few people actually have the good fortune of seeing themselves. Fortunately, for those of us who will likely never experience the grandeur of some of our planet’s highest points in person, there’s this: the first ultra-HD look at some of the Himalayas’ most notable features, filmed at nearly 25,000 feet in the air.

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Human Poop is Ruining Mount Everest

Nepal is concerned about the volume of shit sitting on top of the mountain.

Mount Everest base camp. Photo by Flickr user Kyle Taylor.

For every moneyed thrill-seeker who thinks climbing Mount Everest is a novel post-college adventure, there is a mound of human waste sitting on top of the mountain to account for their privilege. According to Reuters, the Nepal Mountaineering Association is apparently really concerned about the ever-growing volume of shit piling up on Mount Everest, caused by the more than 700 people a year who spend two months clamboring up its sides in search of a sense of purpose and a really sick Instagram photo.

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