Team of Sherpas to clear dead bodies from Mount Everest
The team also aims to remove tons of garbage left behind on the slopes under a Nepalese government program to clean up the popular tourist destination.
The 20 Sherpas plan to begin the expedition May 1 and set up camp at the South Col, 26,240ft (8,000m) above sea level, team leader Namgyal said. Just above the South Col is the "death zone" area known as the toughest stretch for climbers because of low oxygen levels and rough terrain.
The team said it plans to remove at least five bodies from a narrow trail between South Col and the summit, but has not identified them. In the past bodies have generally been removed only from lower elevations, because dangerous conditions have made removing bodies from the "death zone" nearly impossible.
The team also plans to remove some 6,600lbs (3,000kgs) of garbage from the zone.
"We will carry empty sacks and fill them with empty oxygen bottles, food wrappings, old tents and ropes from the area," Namgyal said.
Garbage discarded on the mountain was a major environmental problem until the Nepalese government imposed strict rules about 15 years ago requiring visitors to return all of their gear and rubbish or risk losing a deposit.
It is unclear how much trash is left on the mountain, but several clean-up expeditions have brought down tons of garbage.
Namgyal, who like most Sherpa uses only one name, has climbed the 29,035ft (8,850m peak - the world's highest - seven times. One of the expedition's members, Long Dorje, has made the trip 14 times. All of the team members have visited the summit at least once.
Sherpas were mostly yak herders and traders living in the Himalayas until Nepal opened its borders to tourists in 1950. Their stamina and knowledge of the mountains makes them expert guides and porters.
comments powered by Disqus
- Most Millennials Resist the ‘Millennial’ Label
- Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers – and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting
- China military parade commemorates WW2 victory over Japan
- New documentary explores the legacy of the 5,000 Rosenwald schools set up by a Sears magnate and Booker T. Washington
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- Historian Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham wins National Humanities Medal
- AHA President Vicki L. Ruiz named National Humanities Medalist
- Historians of Color Are Revolutionizing the Narrative of ‘American Exceptionalism’
- Henry VIII voted worst monarch in history
- The Fuhrer style: Historian says press coverage of Hitler’s lavish life fueled his rise to power