In the interest of cleaning up the garbage accumulated at the Everest base camp, the Chinese Government has decided to close it for the tourists. As per reports by BCC, the site is officially closed to people other than those who hold climbing permits and the permits issued every year are limited to 300 only.
The Tibetan base camp has been a magnet destination for tourists over the years and it witnessed a footfall of 40,000 visitors in 2015 as per the figures produced by the Chinese Mountaineering Association.
Basecamp which takes them around 2 weeks. Whereas the side from Tibet can be travelled by a vehicle. In this case tourists crowded the side of Tibet as it was easier to access for the non-mountaineers. This led to chaos of not just tourists but also an accumulation of trash in the site. The last three clean up projects organised literally collected over eight tons of waste as well as human feces and mountaineering equipment. The decision is a result of the alarming increase of pollution here.
By closing down the camp, the authorities wish to deal with larger issues than just simply focusing on trash. The clean-up operation will additionally focus on the removal of dead bodies of the tourists who died while trekking to the peak of Everest. The 'death zone' of Everest holds the maximum number of bodies which is 2,600 feet up the mountain. The oxygen layer is too thin here and it is largely difficult to survive. Due to the cold and chilly temperatures, bodies have been stuck here for years and the authorities weren't able to do much about it for quite some time now.
However, if the news weighed down your spirits to explore the base camp, then don't worry, there is an alternative option to take a tour to Rongbuk monastery. It may not be as charming as the base camp but it does golden flags, stupas and offers a picturesque view of Everest. So don't be completely disheartened.
Share your views on this initiative by the Chinese Government in the comments below!
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