This handout picture taken on May 20, 2018 and released on June 12, 2018 by Damian Benegas shows discarded climbing equipment and rubbish scattered around Camp 4 of Mount Everest. Photo: Damian Benegas/AFP
KATHMANDU, April 29: Sherpas deployed to remove dead bodies of climbers and waste emerging from Everest ice recovered three bodies on Sunday. The bodies, according to tourism officials, were found during this year's mega Everest Cleanup Campaign that started Thursday.
“We have been informed that the cleanup team has recovered three dead bodies,” said Dandu Raj Ghimire, director general at the Department of Tourism Management (DoTM), “We have yet to get further information on the condition of the bodies and their locations.”
A team of tourism officials including DG Ghimire is heading for Everest Base Camp to encourage the ongoing Everest cleanup campaign on Monday. “The progress made so far on removing dead bodies and waste from Everest is very encouraging.”
As part of the mega Everest cleanup campaign a team of experienced Sherpas has been mobilized to remove dead bodies and waste piled up above the base camp of the world's highest mountain.
Twelve Sherpas hired by the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee are working to remove the bodies and waste.
Concerned with the reports of dead bodies emerging from ice with the melting of snow and the route to Everest getting polluted in the recent years, the government initiated this mega clean-up campaign with the help of the Sherpas.
The campaign involving government, private sector and organizations working for the welfare of the mountaineering community started this year for the first time.
Nepal Army, which is mandated to collect the waste below the Everest Base Camp, has already started its cleanup campaign from April 14. So far, the army has lifted two tons of non bio-degradable waste from the region.
The department under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has coordinated with around a dozen organizations including the SPCC, Nepal Army and Nepal Mountaineering Association among others.
The department expects to raise around Rs 20 million from various organizations for the campaign. The Coca-Cola Company and the World Wildlife Fund have also pledged their support for the cleanup campaign.
A total of 297 climbers have died on Everest since 1922, the year when the expedition started. Of the total deceased, 186 died on the southern slopes of the mountain in Nepal whereas the remaining climbers died while attempting to summit the highest peak from the northern side in China.
It is not clear how many of those dead bodies are still in Everest. Expedition companies try their best to bring the dead bodies down on their own. But they give up their quest if bringing the dead bodies is not possible in one or two attempts.
Both foreign climbers and Sherpas have been complaining that the dead bodies are emerging from ice due to the effect of global warming. The emergence of dead bodies from ice, according to the climbers, haunts them while struggling to walk in the thin air.