Thursday, April 7, 2011

'Super Sherpa' to climb Everest for 21st time to clear it of litter -- says climate change has depleted much of the snow and ice

A Sherpa who has climbed Mount Everest more than anyone else, is to set off on his 21st ascent to clear the mountain of litter.

Since Everest was first conquered in 1953, thousands of people have climbed it, leaving behind the empty oxygen bottles, ropes, tents and other refuse that made their journey possible.

Nepal has since required climbers to bring down everything they take up the mountain or lose their deposit, but debris from past climbs still litters the slopes.

The team that left Katmandu on Wednesday - led by Apa, a Sherpa who has climbed Everest a record 20 times - plans to bring down 11,000lb of garbage during the spring climbing season.

"I want to do this for my country, my people and for Everest," said Apa, who uses only one name.

Expedition members, porters and guides of other expeditions will carry the garbage down the mountain, receiving 100 rupees (85p) for every kilogram they haul out. (read more)