Everest numbers face cleanup cut

China | Associated Press Jan 22, 2019
China will cut the number of climbers attempting to scale Mount Everest from the north by one-third this year as part of its plan for a major cleanup on the world's highest peak, state media reported yesterday. The total number of climbers seeking to scale the world's highest peak at 8,850 meters from the north will be limited to less than 300 and the climbing season restricted to spring, the reports said. Cleanup efforts will include the recovery of climbers who died at more than 8,000 meters up the mountain, they said. Parts of Everest are in China and Nepal. Each year, about 60,000 climbers and guides visit the north side of the mountain, which China refers to by its Tibetan name, Mount Qomolangma. China has set up stations to sort, recycle and break down garbage from the mountain, which includes cans, plastic bags, stove equipment, tents and oxygen tanks. On the Nepalese side, expedition organizers have begun sending climbers with huge trash bags to collect trash, which is then taken by helicopters to base camp. Everest claims multiple victims each year, often in the "death zone" above 8,000 meters, where the air is too thin to sustain human life. In 2017, 648 people climbed Everest, including 202 from the north side, according to the nonprofit Himalayan Database. Six people were confirmed to have died on the mountain that year, one of them on the north side.

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