Apa Sherpa to Climb Everest for 20th Time
    2010-04-06 19:56:10     Xinhua      Web Editor: Jiang Aitao

Nepali mountaineer Apa Sherpa, world record holder for 19 ascents of Mt. Qomolangma, is now attempting for his 20th ascent.

Popularly known as "Super Sherpa," Nepali hero Apa is back in Nepal to climb the mountain, also known as Everest, from Nepali side, but this time he is not climbing to the top of the world to keep world record and fame.

"I am climbing Everest 20th time not for personal name and fame, " said Apa in an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday.

"The major reason that I'm summitting Everest this time is to raise global awareness about the impact of climate change over Himalayas," said Apa who is summitting Everest as a Climbing Leader of Eco Everest Expedition 2010.

After successfully leading two sessions of Eco Everest Expedition held in 2008 and 2009 respectively, Apa is again leading Eco Everest Expedition 2010 for the third time with the noble reason of cleaning up garbage on Mt. Everest. This is the third time Asian Trekking in Nepal is launching Eco Everest Expedition.

After summitting the Everest 16 times in May 2007, Apa is leading Eco Everest Expedition till the date to clean garbage left by previous expeditions.

"New expedition teams are much aware and they don't leave any garbage they bring with them," he added.

"This time I'm climbing Everest for the shake of my country. Since, Himalayas are melting day by day due to global warming and climate change, it's time to save our Himalayas," he added.

According to Apa, as snow-clad white mountains are melting due to climate change, parts of the white mountains have turned into dark rocks.

"Appearance of dark rocks over white mountains have made mountaineers' way to Everest much tougher to conquer their destination," said Apa, comparing the past and present of Everest.

Apa first reached the summit of Mt. Everest on May 10, 1990 with a New Zealand team led by climber Peter Hillary, son of Edmund Hillary.

Before leaving Nepali capital Kathmandu for the Eco Everest Expedition on Tuesday, Apa said that the expedition may take two months. But the team is hoping to return by May 29 to mark the International Everest Day.

Meanwhile, the Eco Everest Expedition 2010 once again focuses on climbing in an eco-sensitive manner, bringing old garbage, and all human waste produced on the mountain down to base camp for proper disposal.

The expedition will also be using the highly successful alternative energy solutions like the parabolic solar cookers and the SteriPENs for water purification.

"In 2008 expedition the Eco Everest Expedition team brought down 965 kg of garbage including 65 kg of human waste.

In 2009, the team brought down 6,000 kg of garbage under the " Cash for Trash" program which included 700 kg of wreckage of an Italian Army helicopter crashed between Camp I and II during the Italian Everest Expedition in 1973," Apa told Xinhua.

Moreover, Eco Everest Expedition 2010 team plans to collect and bring down 6,000 kg of garbage from Camp II and below under the " Cash for Trash" program.

Similarly, the expedition aims to bring down 1,000 kg of garbage from above Camp II under the "Cleaning up Everest" program. Cleaning the trails at 6,500-meter and above will need a special team of 10 Sherpas who will dig out frozen garbage as well as clear up garbage found on the route.

The collected garbage will be ferried down to Base Camp where it will be sorted into biodegradable and burnable which will be handed over to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee for proper disposal, according to Apa.



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