Mount Everest: The World’s Highest Waste Dump

Mount Everest may now be known as not only the highest mountain peak in the world but also the highest dump in the world. It is an undeniable fact that mankind has always sought to push the limits of its own existence. For as long as humans have recorded their history, there have been accounts of brave individuals leaving the comfort of their homes and setting out on spectacularly dangerous adventures.

One such adventure that has grown in popularity over the past several decades is the ascension of Mount Everest. Although the exact date of the first successful climb to Everest’s peak has come into question as of late, people have been embarking on the famed climb up Everest’s side since the early part of the 20th century. Since then, scores of adventures have flocked to Nepal in order to try their hand at reaching the top of the world.

Mount Everst's peak

Perhaps the greatest draw of Mount Everest, at least for many climbers, is the amount of danger and risk involved in scaling Everest. While the traditional dangers of climbing Mount Everest consist of foul weather, steep grades, and avalanches, a new type of threat may be rising to the top of Everest’s danger list – human waste.

According to a Fox News report, human waste left by hikers and the requisite support staff has become a real problem. As climbers ascend higher and higher, the disposing of waste becomes a serious issue. Ang Tshering, a Nepalese man, told Fox News.

“Climbers usually dig holes in the snow for their toilet use and leave the human waste there.”

Human waste is obviously biodegradable and as a result is typically not a serious issue when present in small quantities. However as the trek up Everest becomes more and more popular, human waste is being discarded in worrying amounts. Tshering would also add in his report to Fox News that.

“It is a health hazard and the issue needs to be addressed.”

So as more and more people decide to make the perilous quest up the world’s tallest mountain side, it remains to be seen whether or not Nepal’s government (or any other entity for that matter) will seek to provide solutions to the issue of human waste on Mount Everest. If the issue continues to go unaddressed, one thing is almost for certain, snow and ice will not be the only thing hikers are tromping through on their way to the top of Mount Everest.

[Featured Image credit to NBC News, Body Image credit to UCR Today]