The world's tallest mountain is covered in a whole heap of trash. That's why a Chinese team of 30 people has been tasked with hauling decades worth of climbers' garbage off Mt. Everest. Since April, they've managed to bring down over 9 tons of cast-off mountaineering gear and other garbage, the Reuters reports, citing the state-run Global Times. However, lost carabiners and old tents don't make up all the junk. Human waste and household waste made up over two tons and five tons of the removed mass respectively. Since the task is an extremely arduous one, officials in Tibet have given every climber since 2015 on Tibet's side of the 29,000 foot peak two trash bags to use to bring back down at least 8 kilos of trash, or over 17.5 pounds. A climber is fined if they come up short.
Scientists say climate change is warming things up on Everest, causing snow to melt and accumulated trash to emerge. At the same time, more brave climbers than ever are ascending the mountain. Per Reuters, last years climbing season saw 202 summit from the Tibet side and 446 via Nepal's slope. Thousands of others visited camps along both mountainsides. According to the AP, the spring season runs just March until the end of May, after which weather conditions on the mountain begin to deteriorate. There are only about a couple of days of windows of good weather on the highest part of the peak in May, when climbers rush to attempt their way to the summit. (Among this year's climbers to reach the top was double amputee Xia Boyu.)