Mount Everest Base Camp Must Get Away From Melting Glacier
The Nepalese authorities are planning to move the base camp on Mount Everest. The Khumbu Glacier, where the camp is located, is becoming too unsafe due to global warming and extensive human activity.
The camp, which can accommodate up to 1,500 people at a time during the climbing season from March through May, is located at 5,364 meters. It would now be moved to an area 200 to 400 meters lower. There would not be ice there all year, a government employee told the British public broadcaster BBC.
Like many other glaciers in the Himalayas, the Khumbu Glacier is melting at a rapid pace due to global warming. Researchers from Leeds University calculated that on the stretch near the base camp, 1 meter disappears every year.
That causes more rock slides and meltwater movement. This makes the glacier unstable. A stream in the middle of the base camp is expanding rapidly, and mountaineers also state that more and more fissures and fissures appear in the ice at night.
“When we get up in the morning, many have the frightening feeling that we could have fallen into one of those cracks at night. It’s quite risky,” Nepalese Colonel Kishor Adhikari told the BBC. He stayed in the base camp after the climbing season for a clean-up. Loud sounds are regularly heard from moving ice or falling boulders.
The presence of so many people in the camp also plays a role. For example, about 4,000 litres of urine are discharged every day. The kerosene and gas used for cooking also affect the melting ice, according to the authorities.
It is unclear when the move will take place. According to experts, the current base camp could be used safely for another 3 to 4 years, but authorities say it may be moved as early as 2024.