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.

8 Responses

  1. mama said on April 18, 2009 at 12:56 am

    llese deine news mit grossem interesse,m├Ądle pass auf dich auf,meggies bericht ist auch in der tz drin.

    Reply
  2. Steve said on April 16, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Hi Billi

    Great website! Hope all is well. Stay safe and keep us posted!

    Reply
  3. Laura said on April 15, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Hi Billi, we are all sitting reading your news – we are excited at the thought of such big mountains and all that snow. Laura misses you not staying here and we thought of you when we went kayaking last weekend with Roz !
    Look forward to reading your next update- travel safely BLCK x

    Reply
  4. Judy said on April 13, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    kathmandu misses you. New years eve tonight so I’ll celebrate for you. Robin made it safely over the Tashi Labster – despite the awful weather you have all had – and he was the first over this season. Big hug xxx

    Reply
  5. Kate said on April 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Billi, I just spent about an hour reading all of your Everest diary, it was great! You really do have a book in you! Your written stories are just as compelling as the in-person ones. Thinking of you and hope you are having a fantastic time!

    Reply
  6. karin k said on April 12, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Billi, I am glad there’s less rubbish than before.
    Nice that you’re picking it up.
    We could use that kind of attitude in NY (although everyone would end up permanently bent over).

    Reply
  7. Ellen said on April 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Billi! Ellen and Monique here in Namche! We had a great day. Glad to hear you are moving along well! See you in BC! Cheers!

    Reply
  8. andi said on April 10, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    hi billy its great to read your diary. now i need a map to “follow”. i press my thumbs… ; )

    Reply

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