In 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first humans to reach the top of Mount Everest. Thousands of people have rushed to the peak since then, and it is beginning to take its toll. Everest is now so congested and littered that it has been dubbed the “world’s highest garbage dump.”
The mountain has gotten so overcrowded that climbers have to stand in line for hours in very cold conditions to reach the summit, where the air is so thin that an oxygen mask is required to breathe. When climbers finally reach the summit, there is barely room to stand because of overcrowding.
Each of those climbers spends weeks on the mountain, acclimatize to the altitude at a succession of camps before progressing to the summit. During that period, each individual creates around eight kilos (18 pounds) of rubbish, the most of which is dumped on Mt. Everest. The slopes are cluttered with discarded empty oxygen canisters, abandoned tents, food containers, and even human feces.
Nobody knows how much rubbish is on the mountain, but it is in the tons. Litter is erupting from glaciers, and camps are overflowing with mounds of human garbage. Climate change is driving snow and ice to melt, revealing even more waste that has been hidden for decades.
This was once a pristine landscape, but hordes of climbers and poor waste management have turned it into a polluted mess.
Reference- National Geographic, Down To Earth, IPCC Report, UNEP website, Clean Technica