Saving Mount Evererst Clean-Up 2011 - Blog


24 April 2011

Way to Everest Base Camp
Sherpa womam transporting goods on Yak

Chairman of EcoHimal Austria – Prof. Kurt Luger continued his trek to Everest Base Camp on 23 April and rest of the team members were scheduled to start their trek to EBC on 24 April. However, two team members were feeling unwell so decided to stay back in Pheriche and start the trek when they feel better.

Now it was just four of us in the team – Phinjo Sherpa, Country Director EcoHimal Nepal; Anton Zuser, Waste Management Expert, Vienna University of Technology; Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa, Photographer and Entrepreneur and Neelima Shrestha, PR Consultant, Saving Mount Everest Project.

Starting from Thukla 4,620m, it snowed throughout the trek up to Lobuche 4,900m. It meant that it would also snow in Everest Base Camp, which would make it difficult to collect waste in near future. The higher up we trekked, more difficult it got as the oxygen level in the atmosphere was decreasing. Low levels of oxygen in the atmosphere or hypoxia cause decrease in the level of oxygen in our body – one breath will deliver less oxygen in our bloodstream hence causing less blood circulation in the body. In Pheriche 4,260 m, the average level of oxygen in our body was just 85%. As a result, headache, going out of breath in just few steps and difficulty to sleep at night were common phenomenon among the team members especially us the non Sherpas. Another fear was of getting Acute Mount Sickness if we were not careful enough to recognize the initial symptoms. All the while we kept discussing how challenging and difficult is it going to be for the climbers and support staff to clean-up the garbage in Mount Everest itself. And the plan is to bring down up to eight tons of garbage from as high as 8,750 m above sea level.

We met with Prof. Kurt as we trekked up from Lobuche the next day – 25 April 2011. 

Blog and Pictures by: Neelima Shrestha, PR Consultant, Saving Mount Everest


Waste Management in Khumbu Region – Opinions and Perspectives

Pic 1: Dawa Phuti Sherpa, Paradise Lodge, Lukla
Pic2: Tyangboche
Pic 3: Pheriche
Pic 4: Pheriche
Pic 5: Ang Nuru Sherpa, Himalayan Lodge, Pheriche

Saving Mount Everest Project Support Team has now trekked up to Pheriche 4,260m above sea level on 22nd April. To acclimatize, the team members spend a day in Pheriche and went to Nangkharjong that is about 5100m. The doctor at Himalayan Rescue Association Hospital at Pheriche cautioned that it could be life threatening if trekkers trekking above 3000m do not take time to acclimatize in higher altitude. Pheriche is a very small settlement with just 21 households, of which 13 are lodges. While ascending up to support the Saving Mount Everest Clean-Up Expedition in the Everest Base Camp the team has been interacting with locals and visitors in the region about their opinion on waste management in Khumbu region.

Ms. Dawa Phuti Sherpa, a local businesswoman who runs Paradise Lodge in Lukla and who is also socially active in the region through women’s group and was an ex-member of Sagarmatha National Park Buffer Zone Management Council is of opinion that the waste management has improved remarkably in the past decade but there is still more to do. She has been running her lodge in Lukla since past 20 years. As part of waste management system, beer bottles have been completely banned in the Khumbu region since past eight years, she informed. She also informed that the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), a local NGO that is responsible of managing waste in the region, initiated this and the locals have been extremely cooperative and supportive in forbidding the use of beer bottles. She opines that both local and visitors are equally responsible to keep the region clean. A waste management system coupled with information and awareness raising programs could provide an effective solution for sustainable waste management in the region.

According to Nima Doma, who runs Tyangboche Guest house, approximately 500 kgs of waste – cans and plastics are generated by individual lodges/hotels during a season. She further added that all canned food, plastic wrapped food and bottled water has to be imported in the region, which costs a lot and in addition disposing these is immensely challenging. She suggested that if all the lodges and hotels in the region promote local cuisine using locally available resources, then it could significantly reduce the non-biodegradable waste in the region and at the same time promote the rich Sherpa culture.

Ang Nuru Sherpa, owner of Himalayan Lodge in Pheriche informed that in Pheriche village, every first day of the month, the villagers gather to clean the village and manage their waste. The villagers love this village and cooperate with each other very well to keep it clean. Thus believes that in small communities, the community’s own initiation can keep the village clean. For wastes like plastic bottles, he suggests that it should be prohibited from being used in the region as burning it is the only option at present, which is definitely pollutes the pristine environment of Khumbu region.   


Orientation to the Saving Mount Everest Clean-Up Expedition Team

20 April 2011

The Solid Waste Management and Resource Mobilization Centre (SWMRMC) of the Ministry of Local Development of the Government of Nepal provided orientation on waste collection and segregation to the climbers and support staff of the Saving Mount Everest Clean-Up expedition. The Minister and the State Minister along with the Secretary for Ministry of Local Development participated to support and extend best wishes for the project. Dr. Sumitra Amatya, General Manager, SWMRMC facilitated the orientation program. During the concluding session national media were also invited. Representatives from the organizers - Everest Summiteers Association Nepal and EcoHimal were present during the program.

Blog by: Neelima Shrestha, PR Consultant, Saving Mount Everest Project 



Saving Mount Everest Clean-Up Expedition Support Team Arrives in the Khumbu Region

Namche Bazaar - The Gateway to Mt. Everest; Photo: Martin Edström

19 April 2011

The team did great with the trek and reached Namche Bazaar in about eight hours with very interesting weather conditions that kept changing – it was sunny and nice as we started but when we crossed Phakding (a small settlement on the way to Namche Bazaar from Lukla) it started raining heavily with hails so we had to wait till the hail stopped. The rain stopped after some 30 minutes and again started raining when we reached Monjo (another settlement on the way). The team decided to rest there for a while as the final trek to Namche Bazaar was going to be more difficult now. And suddenly the weather is again bright and sunny – It’s Everest region so I believe it’s going to be unpredictable for the rest of our trip.

On the trekking trail the team spotted very less litters scattered here and there. According to some local residents, people now are more aware than some ten years back and it was evident that the local people made efforts to keep the area clean. However, we are yet to know more about the local waste management system/mechanism from the Saving Mount Everest Project waste management experts. 

Blog by: Neelima Shrestha, PR Consultant, Saving Mount Everest Project

Saving Mount Everest Clean-Up Expedition Support Team

18 April 2011

After a long tedious wait of seven straight hours at the domestic airport in Kathmandu the Saving Mount Everest Clean-Up support team arrived in Lukla to start their trek to the base camp. The support team members include Prof. Kurt Luger, Chairperson, Eco Himal, Tommy Gustafsson, CEO, Steve Perryman Sport Travel AB of Sweden, Martin Edstrom, Photographer and Journalist from Sweden, Katja Adolphson, Phinjo Sherpa, Director EcoHimal Nepal and Neelima Shrestha Public Relations Consultant, Saving Mount Everest Project.

The Kathmandu-Lukla flight that was scheduled for 9:45 am departed only at 4:30 pm due to bad weather conditions initially in Kathmandu and then in Lukla.  However, the team members are glad that finally we landed in Lukla.

Tomorrow is a long day as the team plans to trek up to Namche Bazaar, 3440 m above sea level which is around eight hours of trek uphill.

Blog by: Neelima Shrestha, PR Consultant, Saving Mount Everest Project