As the mountaineering community prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the conquest of Mount Everest, there is growing concern about rising temperatures, melting glaciers and snow, and weather becoming extreme and unpredictable on the world’s tallest mountain.

Since the mountain’s 8,849-meter (29,032-foot) summit was first climbed by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay on May 29, 1953, thousands of climbers have Peak reached Hundreds died.

the deteriorating conditions Everest raises concerns for the mountaineering community and people whose livelihoods depend on the influx of visitors.

Nepal Everest
A man places a wreath around statues of New Zealander Edmund Hillary, left, and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay, in Kathmandu, Nepal [File: Niranjan Shrestha/AP]

The Nepalese Sherpa community, who have grown up on the slopes of the snow-capped mountain they worship as the mother of the world, are the most amazed.

“The effects of climate change are not only affecting Antarctic fish, whales or penguins, but directly affecting the Himalayas and the people there,” said Sherpa senior Ang Tshering, who has been campaigning for years. To save the Himalayan peaks and surrounding areas from the effects of global warming.

Almost every year, he and his Asian tour agency organize a cleanup trip in which clients and guides alike take out the trash left over from previous cleanups. Everest climbing parties.

Ang Tshering said the effects of climate change and global warming were severe in the high Himalayan region. “The Himalayan region is warming more than the global average, so snow and ice are melting quickly and mountains are turning black, glaciers are melting and lakes are drying up.”

Ang Tshering, who grew up on the slopes of the mountain, said he remembers slipping on the glacier near his village. But that’s gone now.

2,000 years of ice have been lost in 30 years

Other Sherpas also said they saw changes in the Khumbu glacier at the foot of Everest, near base camp.

“We really don’t need to wait for the future; we’re already seeing the impact,” said Phorba Tingeng, a Sherpa guide who recently ascended the peak for the 16th time guiding foreign clients to the summit.

Phurba-Tinging, Sherpa
Phurba Tingeng, a Sherpa guide, recently climbed Mount Everest for the 16th time [Niranjan Shrestha/AP]

Phurba Tengeng has been climbing Everest since he was seventeen years old. He said that all the snow and ice had melted and that a trip that used to take five or six hours on the glacier track now takes only half an hour because the glaciers have melted and the bare rock is exposed.

“Before, building-like pieces of ice in the Khumbu Glacier used to reach the base camp. But now we don’t see it near the base camp,” said Phorba Tingjing.

Recent research has found that the glaciers of Mount Everest have lost 2,000 years of ice in just the past 30 years.

Researchers found that the mountain’s highest glacier, the South Cole Glacier, has lost more than 54 meters (177 feet) of fish in the past 25 years.

The glacier is located about 7,900 meters (26,000 ft) above sea level, and was found to thin 80 times faster than it took for the ice to initially form on the surface.

Glaciers are losing ice at rates without historical precedent, said Duncan Quincy, a glaciologist at the University of Leeds in the UK.

He said change is happening “very quickly”. “It causes challenges for everyone in that region, and of course for the millions of people who live downstream,” since most of South Asia depends on rivers that originate in the Himalayas for agriculture and drinking water.

He said floods and droughts are likely to become more severe.

“There’s an enormous amount of unpredictability within these systems now,” he said, “and that makes it very difficult for people who need water at a certain time of year to know that they’re going to save that water.”

The Government of Nepal and the mountaineering community plan to celebrate Everest Day on May 29 with a parade around Kathmandu and a ceremony honoring veteran climbers and Sherpa guides.

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