‘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 OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.