‘Loved to Death’: Mount Everest Base Camp Closes to Tourists
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
If you were looking to achieve your bucket list dream of visiting the world’s tallest mountain this year, it looks like you’re out of luck.
As of February, Mount Everest’s base camp is closed to non-hiking visitors due to an exorbitant amount of trash left behind by hordes of tourists at the site.
According to the most recent figures released by the Chinese Mountaineering Association, the Tibetian base camp saw around 40,000 visitors in 2015. Because it’s accessible by car (as opposed to the Nepalese base-camp, which can only be reached via two-week hike), it’s been steadily growing in popularity among non-sporty tourists who visit for the view of the mountain instead of climbing to its summit.
This popularity, however, has meant an immense influx of trash.
“Like many of the world’s most beautiful places, Mount Everest is at risk of being loved to death,” said professional climber and mountain guide Adrian Ballinger in an op-ed for ABC News. “Too many climbers, too much inexperience and too many ethically questionable commercial outfitters chasing only profits have led to problems with trash, human waste and unnecessary accidents, many of which unfairly impact mountain workers like the Sherpa, Tibetans and other local groups.”
Last spring, up eight tons of waste, including mountaineering equipment and “a startling amount” of human feces, were collected over the course of three clean-up projects. Chinese authorities hope that by closing the base camp to tourists, it will help them focus in on cleaning up the area.
So if you were planning on getting up close and personal with Mount Everest — sorry. For now, the only way to visit the site is to be one of the 300 people who were lucky enough to get an Everest hiking permit for 2019.
Featured photo by Yustinus/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees