It is almost National Point Out Dog Doo Day. The exact day depends on your local conditions. This is when the snow banks melt, and you can find dog doo left over the winter everywhere.
These days this is a bit of an atavistic celebration, like the King Cake eaten at Mardi Gras. Nobody who gets the king in the King Cake ever actually gets to become king any more, and because of government interference in doggie deification practices there is precious little dog doo to go around anymore.
But at Mount Everest, the shit is about to hit the fan. And by “fan” I mean “global warming.”
The Washington Post, always on top of important news, has the story.
For some 62 years over 4,000 people have climbed Mount Everest, with many more getting part way up. Few of them, it seems, have practiced the age-old rule of hiking in the wilderness: Leave only your footprints, and poop as necessary, behind. The routes up the great mountain are littered with broken equipment, empty O2 canisters, trash, and dead bodies (people die doing this). And, of course, human excrement galore.
As the glaciers melt due to global warming, this stuff is making an appearance. The Washington Post reports Mark Jenkins as saying, “The two standard routes, the Northeast Ridge and the Southeast Ridge, are … disgustingly polluted, with garbage leaking out of the glaciers and pyramids of human excrement befouling the high camps.” (See also Maxed Out on Everest.)
Apparently the cesspool left by the Conquerors of Everest has reached the point that it is now a health problem. Wapo:
Ang Tshering, president of Nepal Mountaineering Association, warned that pollution — particularly human waste — has reached critical levels and threatens to spread disease on the world’s highest peak.
It is estimated that approximately 26,500 pounds of human excrement generated in the area every years, though most of that is carried by Sherpas to a disposal site, which apparently has become a point pollution source because of this. The excrement does not deteriorate very quickly, so it builds up. Yaks fall into the disposal pits now and then.
New rules are being implemented. But the poop in the ground already is not going to go away any time soon.