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with Stefan Nestler

Stricter Everest waste rules in Tibet

North side of Mount Everest

Stricter waste rules apply immediately on the Tibetan north side of Mount Everest. “With the number of climbers is increasing rapidly, more and more waste is produced by climbers in mountaineering activities,” says a statement from the China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) to the expedition organizers I have received. “Protecting the ecological environment it’s our duty and obligation, also benefit our next generations.” In May 2017, workers and volunteers had collected on behalf of the Tibetan authorities four tons of garbage at altitudes between 5,200 and 6,500 meters on Everest.

Eight kilograms of garbage per climber

Garbage collection on the Everest south side

Starting from this year, each expedition group has to pay a garbage deposit fee of US $ 5,000. The expeditions are obliged to bring back eight kilograms of waste per climber from the high camps back to the base camp. For every kilo less $ 20 will be charged, for every kilo more ten dollars credited. At the end of the expedition, this will be offset against the previously deposited amount. From now on it is also only allowed to leave prayer flags on the summit when old flags of the same length are brought down. This should be supervised by the liaison officer in the base camp, it said.

Permits only to renowned operators?

The CTMA had announced to revise the mountaineering rules for expeditions. It was expected that also the rules for commercial operators in terms of safety and climbing style would be tightened. This reform is still pending, discussions within the CTMA are still ongoing. Well-informed sources say that the Tibetan-Chinese authorities are considering, among other things, reducing the number of expeditions in Tibet in the coming years and issuing permits only to experienced and renowned operators.


6. March 2018 | 18:21