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Mountaineers climb in a queue on a path on Mount Everest: in the future with poop bags

Photo: Rizza Alee/dpa

Nepal wants climbers on Mount Everest to carry their defecation back down to base camp and no longer leave it on the mountain. From this year's main season in spring, it will be mandatory for them to use excrement bags, confirmed Mingma Chhiri Sherpa, a high-ranking representative of the responsible municipality of Pasang Lhamu, to the dpa news agency.

The new rule is intended to combat pollution in the landscape, he explained. In addition, there are always fears that mountaineers could indirectly ingest human excrement when they heat snow to obtain drinking water. To enforce the new rule, the municipality wants to open a temporary office at the base camp.

There are toilets in the base camp itself, said authority employee Khimlal Gautam, who has already climbed Everest himself. But higher up on the mountain, mountaineers have to relieve themselves outside - and the problem with excrement is now big.

Highest garbage dump in the world

In addition to the excrement, there is also tons of other waste on Everest - such as broken tents and clothing, food packaging, stoves, empty water bottles, beer cans and oxygen bottles. The 8,849 meter high mountain has gained notoriety for being the highest garbage dump in the world.

Authorities in the Himalayan country, home to several of the highest mountains in the world, have been trying to combat the problem for some time. Cleaning crews are regularly dispatched and rubbish bins are set up on the hiking trails in the region. Some expedition companies have been using poop bags voluntarily for a long time.