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Thursday, 24 May, 2001, 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK
Sherpa clear rubbish from Everest

In the latest move by the Nepalese authorities to keep the world's highest mountain -- Everest -- clean, a team of Sherpa guides have cleared more than four tonnes of rubbish.

The Sherpas climbed eight thousand metres to the point known as south col -- the most popular route for climbers which is also known as the world's highest rubbish tip and collected oxygen cylinders, bottles, tents and other debris left by previous expeditions.

A spokesman for the Nepal Mountaineering Association which organised the climb said that they were planning to continue their campaign next year.

Environmentalists estimate that there is at least one-hundred tonnes of litter on the higher slopes. Earlier this year the government introduced tough new regulations making it mandatory for foreign mountaineers to pay a deposit before climbing any mountain in Nepal -- which they will get back only if they carry their rubbish down off the peaks.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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