Numerous expeditions have been formed with specific environmental goals to clean up existing garbage on mountains and promote sustainable climbing practices. In this article and video, follow along with an expedition sponsored by Millet to clean up Kangchenjunga
For decades both environmentalists and climbers have complained about the abundance of litter and debris left behind by previous mountaineers. Many are calling Everest the “world’s highest garbage site”.
Although some climbing gear is recycled by local residents either for their own use or for resale, it is estimated that more than 50 tons of plastic, glass, and metal were dumped between 1953 and the mid-1990s on the slopes of Everest.
The problem of refuse from climbers doesn’t just plague Everest. Other peaks popular with climbers have also accumulated refuse. The list of items left on these mountains include empty oxygen bottles, ropes, food packaging, beverage containers, tents and other mountaineering equipment.
In recent years stricter rules have been put in place to ensure that mountaineering teams bring their own trash off the mountains.
Recently, numerous expeditions have been formed with specific environmental goals to clean up existing garbage on mountains and promote sustainable climbing practices.
These expeditions are often called “eco expeditions”.
Millet, a leading European brand in mountain equipment founded in 1921 and headquartered in Chamonix, France has sponsored many of these efforts.
Since 2003 Millet has been cleaning the base and high altitude camps of the 14 peaks over 8,000 Meters.
This video covers their Environmental contributions on cleaning Kangchenjunga from September to October 2007.
At an elevation of 8,586 metres (28,169 feet) Kanchenjunga (also called Kangchenjunga, Khangchendzonga, Kanchenjanga, Kachendzonga, or Kangchanfanga) is the third highest mountain in the world. It is located in the Taplejung district straddling the frontier between Nepal and India.
Korean climber Han Wang Yong who has summited all 14 8000 meter Summits is a leader in these expeditions.
Thanks to the stewardship of these environmentally sensitive climbers, and to the sponsorship of leading companies like Millet the mountains are being cleaned up so that they can be enjoyed by future climbers. They are leading by example to clean up the mountains and to keep them clean.