Mountaineering season begins this week at Mt. Everest, where more than 700 climbers will attempt to reach its storied 29,035-foot-high summit sometime during May. Last year the season was canceled after at least 29 people and 16 guides were killed by a blizzard and avalanche.
Much of the news this year is about the excessive human waste the Mt. Everest climbers leave behind. The waste, often buried in snow during the ascent, “has become a problem that is causing pollution and threatening to spread disease on the world’s highest peak,” Nepal’s mountaineering chief told AP. By one estimate every climbing season results in 26,500 pounds of human feces being left on Everest.