A climber on top of a mountain.

You’ve climbed to the top, it’s going to be a stinky trek down…

In a bid to tackle the mounting issue of waste on Mount Everest, climbers will now be required to bring their own excrement back to base camp for disposal.

This new regulation, introduced by the Pasang Lhamu rural municipality, covers most of the Everest region and aims to address the growing problem of human waste polluting the world’s highest peak.

Chairman Mingma Sherpa emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that “our mountains have begun to stink.”

Complaints about visible human stools and resulting health issues among climbers prompted the municipality to take action.

Mingma highlighted the importance of preserving the region’s pristine image and ensuring a clean environment for all visitors.

The new rule mandates climbers attempting Mount Everest and nearby Mount Lhotse to purchase specialized “poo bags” at base camp. These bags will be inspected upon the climbers’ return to ensure compliance with the regulation.

During the climbing season, mountaineers typically spend significant time acclimatizing at base camp, where dedicated toilet tents with collection barrels are set up. However, as climbers ascend the mountain, the lack of snow in some areas poses challenges for waste disposal.

Many resort to digging holes for their waste, while some higher-altitude locations require open-air toileting.

Chhiring Sherpa, CEO of the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), highlighted the magnitude of the waste issue, estimating around three tons of human excrement between Everest’s base camp and camp four.

South Col, at 7,906 meters, has particularly become known as an “open toilet” due to its windswept terrain and lack of snow cover.

To address this challenge, the SPCC, authorized by the Pasang Lhamu rural municipality, is procuring specialized poo bags from the U.S. These bags contain chemicals and powders that solidify human waste, making it easier to transport and dispose of. Each climber will receive two bags, designed for multiple uses during their ascent.

Dambar Parajuli, president of the Expedition Operators Association of Nepal, expressed support for the initiative, suggesting it be piloted on Everest before expanding to other mountains. He emphasized the importance of effective waste management to preserve the natural beauty of Nepal’s mountains.

Mingma Sherpa, a seasoned mountaineer and advisor to the Nepal Mountaineering Association, endorsed the use of poo bags, citing their successful implementation on other mountains like Mount Denali and in the Antarctic. He believes this measure will contribute to cleaning up Mount Everest and maintaining its allure for future generations.

While Nepal’s central government has introduced mountaineering regulations in the past, their enforcement has been inconsistent.

Mingma emphasized the need for improved oversight at base camps to ensure compliance with regulations and prevent unauthorized climbing activities.

With the implementation of this new measure, climbers ascending Mount Everest will not only conquer the world’s highest peak but also play a crucial role in preserving its natural beauty for generations to come.

Have you ever ran into a foul stench during a travel situation? Share us your story or check our Poo News for similar tales of woe!

By Neil

Neil launched Poopable in 2023, making him the Poo Poo Presidente. After overcoming childhood public restroom anxiety, one of his proudest accomplishments is relieving himself on six continents and over two-dozen countries. His preferred bathroom includes a neutral scent, double ply toilet paper and a strong industrial flush. His trade secret to making any restroom poopable – baby wipes.