Earthkeepers Heroes

Mount Qomolangma
(Mt. Everest)
Volunteer Clean Up

by Claudia Herrera Hudson

<center>Nearly six tons of garbage was brought <br>down from Mt. Everest <br> (<br>article_view.asp?no=228195&rel_no=1)<p></center>
Nearly six tons of garbage was brought
down from Mt. Everest

Mount Qomolangma, also known as Mt. Everest, is know for its magestic, even ominous natural splendor as the highest mountain on earth. Accordingly, it is also high up on the list of most avid climber's "must scale" list, with hundreds of adventurers attempting to climb the 29,035-foot giant yearly (though only about 1600 climbers have actually reached its highest summit).

This same towering grandeur draws thousands of sightseers to the lower altitudes of the mountain each year as well. But, as is so often the case with popular tourism destinations, with the flurry of people, also comes an abundance of litter left behind.

Experts estimate that mountain visitors from around the world left behind 615 tons of waste upon its snowy slopes between 1921 and 1999, particularly on the Chinese side of the mountain that borders Nepal.

Scientists, particularly from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have found a slew of environmentally harmful, and in many cases, even poisonous, elements on the mountain. The most common findings are oxygen bottles, tents, spirit stoves, plastic wrappers, boxes, ropes, and cans thrown aside by climbers and expeditions, who are said to be its largest pollution protagonists. Unfortunately, China's side of the mountain is thought to be most greatly polluted.

Noguchi and team cleaning up Mt. Everest. <br>(<P>
Noguchi and team cleaning up Mt. Everest.

In response, a few waste-removal volunteer teams have assembled over recent years to clean up the littered slopes. This year, a team of close to 100 Chinese climbers and environmental protection volunteers journeyed to the mountain at altitudes of 5,000 to 8,000 meters to help in the clean-up endeavour known as the "2005 Great Environmental Action at the Third Polar of the Earth." Climbing the peak from the Chinese side, the clean up concluded on World Environment Day in early June. The garbage retrieved by the earth-conscious expedition was collected and sent to Lhasa for environmentally-friendly disposal by the local government.

Co-sponsored by the Sports Bureau in southwest China`s Tibet Autonomous Region, the expedition is to take place annually for five years, having started in 2004 and concluding in 2008, when the Beijing Olympic torch relay will be taken to the revered mountain.

Page created on 7/15/2005 11:22:06 AM

Last edited 7/15/2005 11:22:06 AM

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Related Links

National Geographic: Everest - provides a variety of information, photographs, learning resources, lesson plans, and fun stuff for kids.
An incredible panoramic interactive 360 degree view of Mount Qomolangma

Extra Info

Mt. Everest

Some Fun Facts about Everest:

Age: Everest was formed about 60 million years ago
Elevation: 29,035 ft (8850 meters). It rises a few milimeters each year due to geological forces.
Also known as:
*In China: Mount Qomolangma
*In Nepal: Sagarmatha (means: goddess of the sky)
*In Tibet: Chomolungma: (means: mother goddess of the universe)
*In English: Everest (named after Sir George Everest in 1865, the British surveyor-general of India. It was once known as Peak 15.)
Location:Latitude 27° 59' N.....Longitude 86° 56' E Its summit ridge seperates Nepal and Tibet
First Ascent:
May 29,1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary (New Zealand), and Tenzing Norgay (Nepal), via the South Col Route.
First Solo Ascent:
Aug. 20,1980, Reinhold Messner (Italy), via the NE Ridge to North Face
First Ascent by a Woman:May 16,1975, Junko Tabei, (Japan), via the South-Col
First Oxygenless Ascent: May 8, 1978: Reinhold Messner (Italy), and Peter Habeler (Austria), via the South-East Ridge The Youngest Person to Ascend the Summit: Temba Tsheri (Nepal) at age 15; on May,22,2001.
The Oldest Person to Ascend the Summit: Sherman Bull (US) on May,25,2001; 64 years old.
First Legally Blind Person to Ascend the Summit:Erik Weihenmeyer, on May,25,2001
Most Ascents:
Eleven: On May 24, 2000 Appa Sherpa became the first person to climb Everest 11 times.
Ten: Ang Rita Sherpa, Babu Chiri Sherpa
All ascents were oxygen-less.