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Japanese Climbing Team to Bring Down Body and Rubbish from Everest

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 02/04/05; April 5, 2002.]

KATHMANDU, April 4 (AFP) - A Japanese climber said Thursday he planned to bring down one frozen body and remove 1.5 tons of garbage from the slopes of Mount Everest.

Ken Noguchi said he wanted to collect the empty cans, beer bottles and oxygen cylinders that litter the world's highest mountain.

There are more than 100 bodies on the mountain, but Noguchi said his team would probably only be able to bring back one.

"There are many dead bodies lying between the Everest basecamp and the South Col situated at a height of 7,985 metres (26,350 feet)," Noguchi told reporters.

"It is a very difficult job to bring down the bodies as they are very heavy," he said.

His eight-member team, supported by 20 Sherpa climbers, will leave Kathmandu for Everest base camp on Friday.

Noguchi has previously taken part in two cleaning expeditions, in 2000 and 2001.

"Many climbers go to Mount Everest but they never think of removing garbage used before and after their ascent," Noguchi said.

"Such a clean up mission is intended to create awareness among climbers and the general public and to enhance the importance of the environment," he said.

"The Everest cleaning work provides chances for people and climbers to consider the environment seriously and disseminate the message of awareness about it."

Noguchi said he had raised some 400,000 dollars for the project.

More than 1,300 climbers from across the globe have scaled Everest from the Nepalese and Tibetan routes after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first conquered the 8,848-metre (29028-foot) peak in May 1953.


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