Rubbish in the Khumbu

After having spent one night in Namche Bazaar, I decided to leave the Sherpa capital and move on to Deboche, which is a tiny little settlement just below the famous Tengboche monastery. On a normal acclimatisation trip you would stay in Namche Bazaar for two nights, however, as I was feeling fine and Deboche is only 200m higher than Namche I pushed on.

In Deboche, I met a few mountaineers, who I know from my work with Miss Hawley, and we were talking about the sad fact that Mount Everest seems to be surrounded by bad news only. People still refer to Everest as the highest “rubbish dump” in the world, however, nobody really talks about how much the situation has improved over the past few years. It is little known that every expedition to Mount Everest has to pay a deposit to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) and they only get their money back if they return all their rubbish, which also includes human waste. When I went to Everest Base Camp in October last year, I was stunned at how little garbage there was – literally none. And when I was walking from Namche to Deboche yesterday, I was also pleasantly surprised at how little litter I could find on the trail. I have a little “method” on my trekking trips in the mountains. I try and clean up every piece of litter that is immediately in my way, which means that I pick it up before I step over it. Yesterday I collected about 15 pieces of rubbish, which is not a lot considering that I was walking for about four hours. I will report more on the rubbish situation once I get to Base Camp, however, I am sure that the news will be positive.

Anyway, I had better push on to Dingboche, which lies at an altitude of 4,400m. It is a beautiful day and everything is covered in a thin snow blanket as we had heavy snowfall last night. It is very unlikely that I will be able to send another update before I get to Base Camp as there are no more internet places above Tengboche.