In 2008, I noticed that all the glaciers all over the mountain were melting. There were messes of human waste all over the road that came from the ice melt. On the mountain, the human waste is not stinky, because it is very cold. So we brought it down in zip-lock bags and dumped it in barrels in the valley. That year, we started bringing human waste down, and collected 17,000 to 18,000 kilograms of it.
There are too many people who want to climb Everest. That’s partly because we only have one climbing season now. We used to be able to try to climb twice a year, in autumn and spring. But now, in the autumn, there are too many avalanches. Now people only try in the spring, and the short window of weather means everybody wants to climb at the same time and on the same day. Everybody’s waiting for the good weather.
I don’t believe we should stop climbing Everest. People who want to climb should be welcome to climb. But I believe the Nepali government should limit permit regulations for climbers so the mountain isn’t so crowded. Climbers also shouldn’t leave any garbage, or their waste, behind.
I want better opportunities for the Sherpa people. When people in America hear the word Sherpa, they automatically think of us as mountain guides. But the word Sherpa literally means people from the east: “Sher = East,” and “Pa = people.” We are an ethnic group believed to have immigrated from eastern Tibet roughly 500 years ago. Not all Sherpas guide on the mountains. Not all of them should have to.