Gilgit-Baltistan [PoK]: World’s second highest mountain peak K2 has turned into a ‘garbage mountain’ as a pile of garbage has left environmental lovers worried. The matter came to light when a video shot by German climber Flower Waganku Vyata Hirakavormi surfaced on the social media site Instagram. Notably, K2 is one of the toughest peaks in the world and a popular destination for climbers. The Gilgit-Baltistan Tourism Department, quoted by Dawn newspaper, said that, in the summer of 2022 alone, 204 permits were issued for expeditions on the K2, while a total of 1,800 permits were issued for all 8,000-meter peaks in the region.
On 22 July, Wajid Nagar and his team began their journey to conquer the mighty K2. Wajid said, “As we arrived at Camp 1 on K2, there were piles of garbage in front of us, including corpses, abandoned ropes, tin packs, tents, climbing gear, human waste and plastic wrappers.” by Don. Sarah Stratton, an American climber who arrived in Gilgit-Baltistan for the K2 summit in June, had similar concerns.
“Camps 1 and 2 were the worst with waste – old tents, gear, food packaging, fuel cans, human waste, old ropes, etc.,” she told Dawn. She further explained that garbage creates many problems for the climbers, especially when it comes to cleanliness. “We melt snow for water in all the camps and if the snow is dirty, it can make us sick,” she said. Meanwhile, the GB government launched a campaign to clean up the garbage earlier this year after nearly a decade.
Quoting Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) director Yasir Hussain, Dawn said a team of eight climbers was sent from K2 basecamp to Camp 4 at an altitude of 7,800 meters to collect garbage. Collecting 1,610 kg of garbage including climbing gear, tents, ropes, cylinders, batteries and shopping bags.” The waste was then dumped at the CKNP dumpsite.
(with ANI inputs)