Nepal to send team to clean Mount Everest

A Sherpa bags litter on Mount Everest at 8,000 meters. (AFP)
Updated 11 April 2019

Nepal to send team to clean Mount Everest

  • Decades of commercial mountaineering have turned the mountain into the world’s highest rubbish dump
  • Fluorescent tents, discarded climbing equipment and empty gas canisters pollute the well-trodden route to the summit

KATMANDU: Nepal will send a dedicated team to Mount Everest this climbing season to collect garbage and retrieve bodies littering the world’s highest peak, officials said Thursday.
Decades of commercial mountaineering have turned the mountain into the world’s highest rubbish dump as an increasing number of big-spending climbers pay little attention to the ugly footprint they leave behind.
Fluorescent tents, discarded climbing equipment, empty gas canisters and even human excrement pollute the well-trodden route to the summit of the 8,848-meter (29,029-foot) peak.
“We take pride in Mount Everest but we are often accused of not being able to clean it... We have now come together to clean the mountain,” said Dandu Raj Ghimire, chief of Nepal’s tourism department.
The government has joined hands with mountaineering associations, the army and local organizations to coordinate the clean-up effort.
A 14-member team will be sent to Everest base camp from April 25 and aim to bring back 10,000 kilogrammes (11 tons) of trash.
Eight members will then ascend to Camp 2 at 6,400 meters and teams of three will take turns to go up to Camp 4 at 7,950 meters, where they will spend 15 days litter-picking on the snowy slopes.
Climbers and high altitude workers will be given incentives to bring back the bundled trash down to the base camp and the recyclables will be airlifted to the capital.
“This is the first time the government has taken initiative to clean the mountain... but it can’t be done in just one year. We have to continue this,” said Santa Bir Sherpa of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Six years ago, Nepal implemented a $4,000 rubbish deposit per team that would be refunded if each climber brought down at least eight kilogrammes (18 pounds) of waste, but only half of the climbers return with their trash.
In February, China banned non-climbers from accessing its Everest base camp in Tibet in an attempt to clean up its side of the mountain.
Over 4,000 people have climbed Everest so far, and last year saw a record 807 climbers reach the summit.
Melting glaciers caused by global warming are exposing bodies and trash that have accumulated on the mountain since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made the first successful summit 66 years ago.
Environmentalists are also concerned that the pollution on Everest is also affecting water sources down in the valley.


Donald Trump no fan of ‘Borat’ creator Sacha Baron Cohen

Updated 24 October 2020

Donald Trump no fan of ‘Borat’ creator Sacha Baron Cohen

  • Word of Baron Cohen’s latest outrageous ambushes on unsuspecting participants had spread like wildfire

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE: Donald Trump said Friday he has not been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen – even before a clip from the British comedian’s new Borat movie forced the US president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani into an awkward explanation.
Asked about the clip – which shows Giuliani in a faked “interview” with an attractive and flirtatious young woman – while speaking to journalists aboard Air Force One, Trump said: “I don’t know what happened.”
“But years ago, you know, he tried to scam me. And I was the only one who said no way. That’s a phony guy. And I don’t find him funny.”
Trump said the incident happened about 15 years ago.
“To me, he was a creep,” Trump said.
The president did not provide further details about that encounter, but in a 2003 interview, Baron Cohen – playing the wannabe gangster Ali G – pitched a business venture to Trump: special gloves for eating ice cream.
Before the new Borat film’s release, word of Baron Cohen’s latest outrageous ambushes on unsuspecting participants had spread like wildfire.
On Wednesday, Giuliani issued an angry denial over the fake interview.
In the film, the encounter appears to leave the 76-year-old former New York mayor in a compromising situation, caught with his hands down his pants in the bedroom.
Giuliani said the scene was “a complete fabrication.”
“I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment. At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate,” he tweeted.
“If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise, he is a stone-cold liar.”
The comedian continued to poke fun at Giuliani.
In a video posted on social media, Borat himself leapt to his defense and accused the “fake news media” – a term often used by Trump and his supporters – of turning an “innocent” encounter into “something disgusting.”