Why poop on the mountain? Because it's there.
Looks like the birds got to it first. (Getty)
Climbing Mt. Everest is a dream for millions of people all across the world, but it's still very dangerous. Climbers have to watch out for falling rocks, shifting ice, frostbite, altitude sickness, and of course, falling off the tallest mountain in the world. Even with modern safety precautions, one in twenty climbers will lose their life in the attempt.
It used to be that the four camps between the base camp and the summit were safe havens. But now, even those are becoming perilous, because the collected human waste and garbage of 700 climbers per year is becoming a health hazard. Most of the climbers will just dig a hole in the snow and leave their waste in it, but that has led to it piling up over the years. Above the snow line, the cold temperatures and rocky soil mean that waste will not biodegrade in any timely fashion. Have you ever waited a few days to call the plumber when your toilet was broken? That's what Everest is like now. And your toilet isn't a UNESCO World Heritage Site (probably).
It's gotten so bad, the Nepalese government has stepped in. Each climber is now required to bring down 18 pounds of trash from the mountain. That's how much the government estimates one person will produce. And if you don't produce that much, you have to pick up after the last slob. If your team doesn't come back to base camp with 18 pounds per person, you'll lose your $4,000 deposit. That's a lot to pay to get a selfie at the peak, no matter how many likes it will get.