Nepal | July 03, 2020

Everest traffic jam

• TOPICS

APURBA PAUDEL
Share Now:

Recently, news outlets circulated a picture of a massive human traffic jam at the summit of Mount Everest. No one is talking about the grey landscape and disappearing ice sheets on Everest that are also visible in the picture. It seems that the circulated picture hides more than it reveals. How should my generation that is just beginning to understand these issues in school make sense of these narratives of Everest? There have been articles in major news outlets around the world to show how this traffic jam has affected the climbers, escalating the death toll and ruining the adventure of tourists.

It seems everyone wants a piece of the mountain, but no one is willing to talk about the looming death of the majestic Himalaya itself.

For decades, Mount Everest has been a global monument.

Climbing Everest is a feat of bravery, wealth, strength and willpower. However, these climbing adventures have never highlighted the struggles of the people living there, particularly the Sherpas, and the tragic impacts of climate change threatening the existence of the Himalayan range.

For decades, the issue of waste left behind by climbers has been raised time and again.

Not only are plastic bottles, tents and oxygen cylinders being left behind, but also tons of human waste and corpses, none of which decompose at low temperature. As the Himalayas are the source of water for people across the region, polluted sources affect much more than just nearby populations.

Not only is the rise in tourism affecting the mountain and sanitation of the area, it is also affecting the lives of the Sherpa people. The Sherpa population has a ridiculously high death rate, yet many cannot afford to leave their jobs and find safer working conditions. Despite the negative consequences that the mountain and those who live in the area are suffering from, the main focus seems to be on the climbers.

The issues have begun to pile up around the mountain, just like trash, with the only real benefit from the increased tourism in the area being the extra revenue. While people have respect for the mountain and consider its symbolic value in the region, there are not many actions that support this.

How can we advocate for dialogue to improve on the situation? For the younger generation like myself, it is imperative that we look at issues like these and do our part to help preserve the planet.


A version of this article appears in print on June 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

In Pictures: Protest against govt's ineffective response to COVID-19 crisis

Kathmandu, July 2 Youths hold placards while maintaining safe distance as they take part in a protest at Patan on Thursday demanding better and effective response from the government in handling COVID-19 outbreak. Read More...

Botswana investigating mystery deaths of 275 elephants

GABORONE: The number of elephants found dead in Botswana's Okavango Panhandle has risen to 275 from 154 reported two weeks ago, the government said on Thursday. Authorities are investigating the unexplained deaths over the past months. Poaching has been ruled out as the carcasses were found Read More...

Deepika Padukone champions #DobaraPoocho on importance of discussing mental health issues

KATHMANDU: Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone has urged to be a little more attentive towards their loved ones and repeatedly inquire about their life struggles and mental health issues, through a campaign #DobaraPoocho. Taking to her Instagram on June 30, 34-year-old actor posted a video about che Read More...

Bob Dylan makes chart history with Rough and Rowdy Ways

KATHMANDU: American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has made a chart history with his 39th studio album Rough and Rowdy Ways — the critically-acclaimed full-length debuted at No 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, amassing three million streams and the equivalent of 53,000 album units in the United States. Read More...

British musicians call for govt to help live music industry

KATHMANDU: Some 1,500 British musicians including Sir Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran and The Rolling Stones called for the British government on July 2 to support the live music business survive the novel coronavirus pandemic as the future for concerts, festivals and the people who work in them looks bl Read More...

Actor Samragyee RL Shah exposes sexual, mental and financial exploitation in the Nepali film industry

Actor says many others suffering in silence KATHMANDU : Nepali actor Samragyee RL Shah, who has opened up about harassment she claims to have faced in the Nepali movie industry via a series of videos on her Instagram account, has shared with The Himalayan Times graphic details what she has fa Read More...

Ray Fisher says director Joss Whedon was gross, abusive and unprofessional on Justice League set

KATHMANDU: American actor Ray Fisher has accused director Joss Whedon of gross, abusive and unprofessional behaviour on the set of the 2017 film Justice League. Taking to Twitter on July 1, Fisher who played the young superhero Cyborg in the DC Comics film wrote, "Joss Wheadon’s on-set treatme Read More...

City honour Liverpool - then hammer them 4-0

MANCHESTER: Manchester City generously applauded new champions Liverpool onto the field before their Premier League match on Thursday -- and promptly showed no mercy by thrashing them 4-0 at the Etihad stadium. With the title secured a week ago, there was little at stake for Juergen Klo Read More...