Could climate change be impacting Everest?

Author: Chris Bianchi,
The world record-holder for the most successful ascents of Mount Everest is saying that climbing the world's highest peak is getting harder, and it's not because of his advancing age

49-year-old Nepalese sherpa Apa Sherpa climbed Mount Everest for the 19th time last week and dedicated this climb to stopping climate change. At the peak, he posed for a photo with a sign saying, "Stop climate change, let the Himalayas live".

But despite his successful climb, Sherpa alluded to noticeable differences in Everest's changing landscape since his first trek in 1990, noting that a once snow-laden trail leading to the peak had now been reduced to bare rock due to rising snowlines and warming temperatures. Sherpa said that scaling the snow-less rocks made the trek more difficult because "wearing crampons is hard," he said.

Sherpa and his team also picked up five tons of garbage strewn around the mountain, much of it from an Italian helicopter crash in 1973.

Environmentalists are saying that rising temperatures are decreasing the Himalayan glaciers that many Asian river origins depend on. Those rivers, including the mighty Ganges of northern India, provide drinking water for millions of people across one of the most populated sectors in the world.

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