China has closed its Mount Everest base camp, a site that is visited by thousands of people each year, after huge piles of trash took over the area.
Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region has banned ordinary tourists from entering its core zone as part of a massive clean-up campaign in order to conserve the environment of the world’s highest mountain.
Furthermore, Qomolangma is also accessible by car which also makes the area more attractive for visiting tourists – with numbers rising in recent years.
People who already have permits will still be allowed to visit Everest. But Chinese authorities announced back in January that they would from now on only issue 300 permits a year in order to deal with escalating piles of trash on the mountain and surrounding.
The most recent data is only available from 2015. 40.000 people visited the China-controlled base camp, which is located in Tibet; BBC reported citing numbers from the Chinese Mountaineering Association.
The deputy director of the reserve’s administration, Kelsang, told Xinhua Net that the ban would not affect tourists from appreciating Everest.
With this new ban ordinary tourists will only be able to go as far as the Rongpo Monastery, which is approximately 5.000 metres above sea level. There are also plans to open a new camp for tents only two kilometres away from the original base.
“The new tent camp for ordinary tourists can still allow them to clearly see the 8.800-meter-plus mountain.”
So far the officials said that workers have collected over 300 tons of trash from the mountain in 2018,
According to Insider:
“Nepal’s base camp can only be reached by a long climb that can take two weeks, but China’s base camp can be reached by car, making it popular with tourists. Non-climbers will no longer be able to climb above a monastery 16,000 feet (5,000 meters) above sea level.
Climbers will also “be required to carry out all their waste with them” in a bid to keep the mountain cleaner, Ci Luo, the director of the Chinese Mountaineering Association, The United Nations previously warned about the high amount of trash on the mountain.”
China is also using other methods to clean up the mountain such as paying Sherpas $2 for every kilo of trash they pick up from the mountain.
According to Xinhua Net last year over 30.000 “porters” were hired in an attempt to clean trash from Everest.
10 Interesting Facts About Mt. Everest
Think you know everything there is to know about the world’s tallest peak? Think again! We have ten facts about Mt. Everest that are sure to give you a new perspective on this iconic mountain, which remains an alluring destination for adventure travellers, trekkers, and climbers even in the 21st century.
- Mount Everest is the world’s highest point at 8,848 meters (29,029 ft.) above sea level.
- Numbers – 4,000 people have attempted to climb the mountain, 660 have succeeded, 142 have died trying, the peak is 5 and half miles above the sea level, to reach the peak, you will have to put 20 Empire State Buildings on top of each other.
- The mountain was named after Sir George Everest – the British surveyor-general of India.
- The mountain grows 4mm higher every year due to Geographical uplifts.
- Mt Everest was initially known as Peak 15 at the height of 29,002 feet in 1856. Its name was later changed to Mt. Everest in 1865. In 1955, its height was adjusted to 29,028 (which Nepal use to-date). China uses 29,015 feet as the official height but using the modern GPS technology in 1999, scientists established its height to be 29,035 feet.
- Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first human beings to climb the mountain on May 29, 1953.
- Italian Reinhold Messner and Peter Habler in 1978 were the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest without bottled oxygen.
- Avalanches on the mountain are the greatest cause of death on the mountain. In 1996, 15 people lost their lives as they attempted to descend from the mountain due to an avalanche.
- There are around 120 dead bodies of climbers on the mountain.
- The summit is just below the cruising height of a jet.
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References: Britannica, Insider, Xinhua Net