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with Stefan Nestler

Soon only e-vehicles in Tibetan Everest Base Camp?

North side of Everest

Will the mountaineers on the Tibetan north side of Mount Everest be chauffeured to the base camp next spring with electric buggies, as we know them from golf courses? This Tibetan provincial government’s plan is reported by Chinese state media. Step by step, all vehicles without electric motors should be banned from the base camp in order to reduce air pollution, it said. “In peak season, the camp welcomes an average of 200 to 400 vehicles every day,” said Tang Wu, director of Tibet’s Tourism Development Commission. “The camp receives an average of 20,000 vehicles every year.”

More than 100,000 visitors per year

The Chinese Base Camp, which can be reached on a paved road, has increasingly developed into a tourist attraction.  According to the state news agency Xinhua, in 2017 more than 100,000 people visited the starting point for Everest expeditions on the north side of the mountain. It is obvious that so many people produce a lot of garbage. The provincial government has commissioned a company to keep the area between the Chinese Base Camp at 5,200 meters and the Advance Base Camp at 6500 meters clean.

Special bonus for the transport of faeces

Garbage cans in Everest Base Camp

After the last spring season, 8.5 metric tonnes of waste were collected according to official data. It was said that it was particularly difficult to remove the faeces: The locals did not want to pack the human waste on their yaks because they thought it would bring bad luck. Only after special payments did some people agree to take the faeces away.

No more news about the planned mountaineering centre

Whether the plan with the electric cars will really be implemented remains to be seen. Almost two years ago, the news had gone around the world that by 2019 an Everest mountaineering centre, the size of twelve football pitches, was to be built in Gangkar, also known as Old Tingri, with accommodation and restaurants for mountaineers, a helicopter rescue base, offices for expedition operators, repair shops for cars, motorcycles and bicycles as well as a mountaineering museum.  After that you didn’t hear anything more about it.

Rescue flights also on the north side of Everest?

Rescue helicopters from Nepal at the foot of Shishapangma

However, there are persistent rumors that from 2019 there will also be helicopter rescue flights on the Tibetan north side of Everest. Last spring, Chinese rescue forces and Nepalese helicopter pilots worked together to find Bulgarian climber Boyan Petrov, who has been missing on the eight-thousander Shishapangma in Tibet. Unfortunately, the search was unsuccessful in the end, but the rescue operation could serve as a model for the highest of all mountains.


2. November 2018 | 15:17