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Mount Everest, the world’s biggest junk yard/graveyard
There is a mad rush of the sorts in the world over to conquer the world’s top mountain peak, the Mount Everest. During the expedition season eve, when everybody is racing to make records of conquering Everest, this article tries to look at Everest from the prism of impropriety being committed which are detrimental to the environment posing great dangers to the eco balance as well as inimical to the existence of the mankind itself.
There is a mad scramble to vanquish the peak of Mont Everest but has someone tried to know and realize that how much harms and injuries the human crowd are inflicting on the Mount in the process? Have we ever tried to introspect the pain of Everest?
Scramble for the Everest peak
If the Everest news data is gleaned over, then 146 in 2000, 182 in 2001, 264 in 2003, and 330 in 2004, more than 347 in 2010 people have touched the peak of Everest. According to the latest figure, during the last week of season in May 2011, the number of persons unfurling the conquering flags on the Everest has already touched over 428. It might just well be, this year would be celebrated as the record Everest mountaineering year. What may be reason of the sudden spurts in the number of the mountaineers? Has there developed a short cut to the route leading to the peak? Yes there is a short cut to the Everest, so says Santosh Yadav, who has already unfurled the victory flag on Mount Everest. She says, for Nepal, Everest is like the hen giving the golden eggs. Formerly, it was only the adventurous persons, who used to trek to he Everest peaks, but the situation has changed now.
Travel companies to be blamed for defiling Everest
Santosh Yadav holds the travel companies responsible for this sorry state of affairs of Mount Everest. These companies have changed Everest into business. These Nepali companies are encashing the zeal and ardour of the people by carrying people to the peaks of Everest without fulfilling the climbing standards. The way the number of people unfurling the victory flags on the peak has mounted the last year, the government agency of mountaineering "Indian Mountain Foundation" has stopped recognising the mountaineers now. Santosh teaches mountaineering in Manali in Everest school of adventures. She is of the opinion that likewise every profession; mountaineering too should have a minimum qualification, experience and age eligibility. She says, for mountaineering, the minimum age should be 17 years while the maximum experience of 7 thousand metres of height should be the criterion fixed for mountaineering. But nothing of the sort is happening. According to Santosh Yadav, today, companies are charging 30-40 lacks of rupees of royalty in lieu of carrying people to the peak guaranteeing safe returns. In stead of giving training, a special team of Sherpas are sent along separately, who apart from opening passages do the works of providing from oxygen to foods to every small or big needs of the persons. Companies pick up the easiest route out from amongst the 20 available routes to mountaineering.
The mad scrambles for making records
In 1953, after the conquering of Everest by Edmund Hillari and Norgay Tenjing, according to authoritative data available up till now, an estimated 3,128 mountaineers have already completed the expedition. As per the Everest news, 428 mountaineers have already reached up to the peak. This year alone, about 9 Indian women have already unfurled the victory flag on the peak. The Nepalese government has already collected to its coffers 35 million dollars in form of mountaineering royalties.
Everest- world's largest graveyard
The hard truth is that the Everest has turned into a graveyard. According to the report of British medical journal, since the expedition of George Mallory in 1924 up till now, Everest has become the graveyard of more than 220 people. Most of the mountaineers among these died in the area known as 'death zone' located at some 8 thousand metre height i.e. 26246 feet where the level of oxygen is extremely low. It is known to all that, the trace of the dead body of the British citizen George Mallory and his companion Sandy Irwin who had gone trekking the Everest in 1924 prior to Hillary was found later on in 1999. The oxygen level in the 'death zone' area could be understood thus that whereas ion planes, the general people take 20-30 breathes per minute , this data in the death zone area mounts to 80-90 breathes per minute.
The heaviest toll of deaths so far has been in 1996 during which, 15 people were killed. This year is known as tragic year. The Khumbu ice fall ahead of the base amp is also in no way lesser than a grave yard where experience doesn't bear any meaning. Here alone, 19 deaths have taken place. The dead bodies of mountaineers are still lying scattered in routes to the peak which are not being brought down on planes owing to the costs involved and the difficult terrains of heights.
Everest –the greatest junk yard
Apart from being the greatest grave yard, Everest is the greatest junk yard as on date. Santosh Yadav who had gone to Everest in 1992 says she had brought down 500 kilos of junk with her. There are so much of dirt up there that it is difficult to get a place to sit down. The Nepalese government though collects royalties from every mountaineer to clear off the junks accumulating there but seldom cleans it. There is Lukula base prior the Everest base camp, where 100 quintals of junks brought down from up the above is scattered unattended thus far. The mountaineers themselves should also be aware of the menace and see to it that they too, do not add to the junks.
Not a base camp but an overcrowded fare this
Some 10 years ago, the mountaineers of the most adventurous kind used to shiver to hear of reaching the Everest camp, such were the difficulties then even to reach the base camp. It takes only 25 minutes to reach the Lukula Airport – the nearest point to the base camp after which, it takes 5 days to trek to the base camp. When you will go to the Lukula Airport, you cannot distinguish if you are standing at the Lukula Airport or the Kathmandu Airport. Hundreds of mountaineers coming all over the world could be seen littering junks there. Lukula is a greenish patch situated at the banks of Dudh Koshi River and is at a distance of 25 km from snow covered Khumbu. One has to go via Lukula to reach the base camp. Sagarmatha National Park comes after Fakding, after which comes Namche Bazaar, which is a resting point. Nearby this is Khunjum where the majority of Sherpas live.
One doesn't feel alone trekking while moving to the base camp from Kunjum. Several groups of mountaineers are noticed on the way up which goes together up to the base camp. On the way, there are small shops of sherpas- women selling essential items such as water bottles for 250 rupees, soft drinks for 300 rupees, hot water bath for 400 rupees and 300 rupees for camera and phone cell recharge. Lebuche village comes after this which is always fully agog with gusto and zest from all that you could glance are peaks and peaks of Everest mountain only. After covering distance for 8 hours comes the base camp. It doesn't look like merely a base camp but like a small thick kasba. Here, on an average of 7000 people and camps are present every time during the season of expeditions.
Everest is shrinking.This is the bane of global warming that the areas of Everest which used to be covered up with stones now look rocky and filled with stone boulders. Every year, during the summit eve, Everest looks changed. Naked rocks adorn now the ugliness of Everest which looked so beautiful earlier covered with snow all around. The ice is scarce which makes cramponse (nails in the soles of shoes) difficult to dig into the ice for perching- on while trekking, making the climbs more dangerous for the mountaineers. The numerous hotels and restaurants that have sprung up near the base camp are further adding to the pollution. Expedition teams carry generators with them, the exhausts and fumes of it make the condition worse.
The Himalayan glaciers are melting with speed. These will come to an end by the end of 2025. The Chinese experts opines that the Everest have shrunk within a short period of two years by 50 meters or 165 feet and this process is progressing with a fast pace. The north East Ridge visible in 2002 has finished now. In the coming 100 years, the there will be an increase in temperature by 1.4-5.8 degrees Celsius. The imza glacier nearby the Everest has completely turned into a 1 and ½ miles lake. Its length every year is increasing at the rate of 50 meters. If even now, we don't take this matter seriously, chaos and doom are bound to visit us sooner than later.
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