The definition of cavalier is “showing a lack of proper concern”. Climbers in Nepal have been cavalier — reportedly dropping their trash on Mount Everest for years. Nepal is now telling these climbers that they need to carry down what they have carried up.
Nepalese law this Spring will require mountain climbers to bring their trash away with them. For years, climbers have been dropping their garbage, used air tanks, and even human waste.
Climbing Mount Everest costs thousands of dollars. The equipment and government climbing fees — sometimes tens of thousands of dollars — don’t stop people from reaching for its peak. One would think that making allowances for trash pickup and keeping this naturally beautiful area clean might be worth something. Unfortunately, climbers over the past few decades just haven’t been bothering to carry back down.
Also listed among the items left on the mountain are bodies. Yes, human beings cavalierly left behind. Several news agencies reported that in 2006, dozens of climbers ascended past a dying man without offering assistance. While rescue attempts are dangerous — just like the climb — no rescue was even attempted by those who saw him struggling.
While the new law in Nepal may prevent future trash, it still doesn’t provide for cleanup efforts or body removal.
Stories of adventures told by Mount Everest climbers are unlikely to focus on how they defiled the mountain, nor on the bodies that they passed along the way.