The Nepalese authorities are planning to move the base camp to the bottom in order to ascend Everest, due to global warming and human activities that have now jeopardized its security. This shift became necessary in the wake of the rapid shrinkage of the Khumbu Glacier, the long tongue of ice that leads to the base camp in the valley of the same name. Faults in the area increase frequently, and the melting water makes the glacier unstable, with many dangers for climbers who spend several days at camp to acclimatize and wait for ideal weather conditions to attempt to climb Everest.
The base camp is currently located at an altitude of approximately 5,400 metres Scheme Transfer to an altitude of less than 200-400 metres, as recommended by a committee set up by the Nepalese government to sponsor treks on Everest. Between March and May, in the best period for ascent, the camp is used by about 1,500 people, with Frequent congestion problems Which also relates to the ways to get to the top of the mountain.
Analyzes carried out on the Khumbu glacier in recent years have revealed an annual loss of about 9.5 million cubic meters of water. The part of the glacier on which the base camp is located weakened About one meter each year. In the area are rocks and other ruins from the glacier rushing downstream, making the platform on which tents and other structures are installed even more unstable.
In recent years, a small stream has also formed in the central part of the base camp, which has gradually grown over time. The number of cracks is increasing and new cracks are forming within a few days, making some parts of the field less stable. This phenomenon has already been discovered in the past, but the times of rift formation were much longer.
Who works at Everest Base Camp? He said to me BBC News That the presence of the glacier has always made some adaptation necessary, because the ice is constantly moving in slow progress toward the valley of the great glacier. The bottom of the camp had to be worked every two to three weeks to make sure it was adequately battered and it was safe to pitch tents and other equipment.
Recently, this work was carried out every week, precisely because Khumbu accelerated its activity.
For years now, research groups have been reporting on how global warming is happening Mountain glaciers under extreme pressureThis results in thinning and making it less stable. Extreme heat waves in various parts of Asia in recent weeks have made it clear that the climate is changing due to global warming, which has human activities among the main causes.
Everest has to deal not only with phenomena associated with global warming, but also with the large number of climbers trying to climb to the top. Hundreds of groups arrive each year at base camp to spend a few days there before reaching the first camp, gradually approaching the summit. Their presence leads to the production of waste and creates many pollution risks, especially due to the use of fuel for camp stoves and other equipment.
Also after strong international pressure, the government of Nepal in recent years has tightened some controls, working to make the ascent of Everest more environmentally sustainable. For the country, the Himalayas is in any case an important tourist resource, and for this reason, too, the imposition of new restrictions is determined with great caution so as not to harm the sector.
Transfer times for base camp have not yet been fully determined. The goal is to reduce it by 2024, but there are many technical and environmental aspects to assess. This step will make the path to the next camp longer, but should allow the base camp to be in an area free of snow and more stable in the spring.
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