Monday, May 25, 2009

Eco Everest Expedition

Dawa Steven Sherpa is leader of Eco Everest Expeditions, aiming to educate climbers about their impact on the Himalayas and highlight the affects of climate change on the region.

On May 21, his fellow climber Apa Sherpa broke the world record for successful summits of Mount Everest, standing on the top of the world's highest mountain for the 19th time.

"I want people to see that our mountains are really fragile and vulnerable to what we do as humans. As well as the impact of warming temperatures on the Himalayas there are more direct impacts from climbers." Dawa Steven said.

"There's a big problem with human waste on the mountain. Toilet bags have been introduced on expeditions in the last two years, so it can be transported back down the mountain again," he said.

Dawa Steven and Eco Everest are also encouraging mountaineers to bring down trash that they find on the mountain with a "Cash for Trash" program; Eco Everest offers 100 rupees for each kilo of trash brought back down.

Eco Everest expedition teams also use parabolic solar cookers harnessing the strong sunlight of the mountain region.

"They're really good, you just point it at the sun and about 30 minutes later you have a pot of boiling water," Dawa Steven said. "If I can use it in the harsh environment of base camp Everest then anyone can use it back home."

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