“It’s all bullshit on Everest these days,” the late Sir Edmund Hillary once said. Wrong animal. Every year 12,000 kg of solid human waste is dumped at Gorak Shep at the head of Nepal’s Khumbu valley, the produce of thousands of mountaineers, trekkers and their entourages of sherpas, porters etc who congregate at Everest Base Camp in the climbing seasons. Unsurprisingly there is a pollution hazard for communities downstream.

However a solution may be at hand. The UIAA Mountain Protection Award has just been won by a US-based project to develop and install an anaerobic biogas digester at Gorak Shep to treat the waste. The challenge for the Mount Everest Biogas Project has been develop a digester that would function efficiently at altitude - Gorak Shep sits at just over 5000m.

The Alpine Club plays an active role in the UIAA’s Mountain Protection Commission that runs the US$5,000 Award. AC Vice-President Stephen Goodwin is a member of the Commission and one of the award assessors. Read the full story CLICK HERE