Cleaning campaign for Mt. Everest to begin next week
Apr 6, 2007 - 11:23:45 AM

Kathmandu, April 6 - A team of 12 mountaineers begin an operation to clean up the Mt. Everest from the northern side on April 15.

Japanese Ken Noguchi will lead the team, comprising nine Nepali sherpas and three Japanese mountaineers, for the campaign to clean the Everest, also known as Mt. Qomolangma by Tibetans.

The campaign will concentrate mainly on the advance base camp situated at 6,400-meter of the north ridge of the Mt. Everest. Noguchi said they expect to collect as much as one tonne of garbage, including tents, ropes and oxygen cylinders.

Noguchi has carried out a clean up campaign four times, twice from south and twice from north. During his previous campaigns, he brought 8.8 tonnes of garbage, including 400 gas cylinders, to Kathmandu from the Mt. Everest, Noguchi said at a press conference here before his departure to the base camp on Thursday.

Noguchi, who launched the cleaning campaign in 2001, said: 'The highlight of this cleaning campaign is that a similar campaign will be going on simultaneously at the Japan's tallest peak Mt. Fuji with over 200 participants.'

'We will be able to have contacts and communications of both the teams and the cleaning campaign will be telecast live through satellite television,' said Noguchi.

He added that such a campaign would be crucial for creating awareness among the mountaineers and common people on the adverse effects of the litter and their impact on global warming in the Himalayas.

A total of 15 mountaineering expedition teams, meanwhile, have left Kathmandu Wednesday, with the objective of the scaling world's highest peak, said an officer at the mountaineering section of the ministry of culture and tourism.

He said two other foreign teams had already applied for permission to scale the Everest on Thursday and a few more could be expected to do so this season.

Last year, 17 expedition teams had sought permission to scale the highest peak.

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