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Sherpas prepare to clean up Everest
The team, which is led by Namgyal Sherpa, plans to focus on a portion of the mountain above 8000 meters, or 26,242 feet, which is commonly referred to as "The Death Zone." This section of the mountain is especially dangerous because of the high altitude and extremely thin air, but surprisingly enough, there is still plenty of garbage to be removed, including spent air cylinders, old tents, fuel canisters, ropes, and more.
Namgyal, a seven time Everest summitteer himself, says that the plan is for the team to stay on the South Col for up to a week at a time, making multiple trips into the Death Zone and bringing down as much garbage as they can carry. They expect to collect as much as 6500 pounds of trash in this manner before proceeding down to Base Camp, where they'll rest up in preparation for another climb. All told, they plan to make three such week-long clean-up missions before the monsoon arrives in early June, marking an end to the climbing season.
In recent years, the Nepali government has enforced strict rules on the climbers requiring them to carry all of their trash off of the mountain when they depart for home. Moving forward, that bodes well for the future of Everest, and thanks to the efforts of these dedicated Sherpa, a lot of old trash is being removed to clean up the mountain for future climbers as well.