This odd looking picture is Mount Everest and surrounding vistas. The picture was taken in December 2013 as Nasa’s Earth Observatory satellite orbited over Nepal.
Over 60 years ago, in May 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay scaled Everest for the first time in history. As of March 2012, there had been 5,656 successful ascents of Everest. 223 people had died on Everest, thus fatality rate is 4 per cent.
Mountain climbing is major source of revenue for Nepal. Until recently, the fee per person for Everest climb was $25,000. Larger groups got discounted rates — the cost for a group of seven climbers was $70,000.
To attract more mountaineers to the world’s highest peak, in 2014, Nepal is slashing fees for individual climbers from $25,000 to $11,000.
Hundreds of people heading to Nepal in April and May of each year — the peak climbing season. Increased traffic — even with diminished fees — means more money for Nepal. It also means more trash left behind along the trails and at the base camp.
- Decades of mountaineering have taken a toll on the world’s highest peak
- The land is strewn with rubbish including oxygen cylinders, human waste and even climbers’ bodies that do not decompose because of the extreme temperatures.
Mount Everest badly needs some sort of waste management. The Nepalese government decided it’s time to take steps toward major clean up. Under the new rules, each member of Everest climbing expeditions must bring back at least eight kilos of trash, not including their own refuse. Government authorities plan taking legal actions against climbers who fail to comply with the new rule.
And lastly, on January 28th, German pilot Klaus Ohlmann and co-pilot Jona Keimer mounted the Modular Airborne Camera System (MACS) to the wing of a Stemme S10-VTX glider. The glider took off from the expedition base camp at Pokhara airport in Nepal. In an hour and a half, they reached the summit of Everest, 8,848 meters above sea level. Thus the work on the very first 3D model of Everest has begun.
More about the project and a short video clip: Glider captures 3D images of Mount Everest.