LEAVE NO TRACE?

China Closes Everest Base Camp After Human Waste and Trash Piles Up

China has closed the base camp on its side of Mount Everest after the site was inundated by human waste and abandoned trekking equipment, the BBC News. Only trekkers with hard-to-get permits granted by Beijing will be able to trek past a monastery that’s at an elevation of around 17,000 feet. China’s government says it will only issue 300 such permits a year. Those who attempt to reach the base camp without a permit will be turned back. Most climbers ascend Everest from the Nepal side, but a growing number have started to make the treacherous climb from Chinese national territory in recent years, in part because the base camp is also accessible by car, making it easier to bring supplies up the mountain. The Chinese Mountaineering Association put the figure of visitors at 40,000 in 2015, when records were last made public. Nepal says about 45,000 climbers stopped at its base camp in 2016-17. Last spring, Chinese waste-management crews brought more than eight tons of waste, mostly human feces, down the mountain.