Cleaning Mount Everest

By Darby Jones April 2, 2021
Swiss brand Bally partnered with local Nepali people to collect 2.2 tons of garbage from the Himalayan mountains over 47 days.

Over the past several years, an increasing number of tourists have ventured to the Himalayas to attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest. This has led to the routes being filled with plastic bottles, cans, oxygen cylinders, batteries, food wrappers and more.

It can be challenging to maintain the garbage collection due to remote access and extreme conditions, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has restricted tourists from visiting many popular travel destinations. So, a climbing community in Nepal saw the pause in tourism as an opportunity and partnered with luxury brand Bally to help preserve the mountains.

Bally Peak Outlook is an initiative launched by the Swiss luxury brand to preserve “the world’s most fragile mountain habitats,” according to the website. The “8x8000m” Everest endeavor was led by Dawa Steven Sherpa, a Nepali cimber, environmental activist and tourism entrepreneur. He is responsible for leading expeditions that have removed 22 tons of waste since 2008.

Due to the challenging terrain, half of the expedition team was made up of ethnic Sherpa, a group whose unique genetics allow them to withstand extreme mountain environments.

In a short documentary released by Bally Peak Outlook on April 1, Steven Sherpa shares more about the expedition.

“When we take away garbage from the mountains, it must feel to the gods like taking a thorn out of their finger,” said Steven Sherpa.

He refers to Mount Everest as a sacred mountain and “in a way, a life giver, because it brings in a lot of economic opportunity to the entire region.”

The team of climbers cleaned from the base camps all the way up to the peaks, leading to an astonishing 2.2 tons of garbage collected.

The group hopes that their efforts will inspire and motivate others around the world to do the same once the pandemic is over.