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An image from The Call of Everest shows a quiet night at Base Camp. (C. Richards Photography)

Mount Everest Climber Warns Of An Overpopulated Mountain

by NPR Staff
Jun 2, 2013 (Weekend Edition Sunday)

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Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Perhaps no active climber is more closely associated with Mount Everest these days than Conrad Anker. He has reached the highest point on Earth three times, and he discovered the body of George Mallory — the British climber who may or may not have reached Everest's summit before disappearing in 1924.

Anker has also made the preservation of Mount Everest one of his priorities. Today, as the world's highest mountain compels ever-increasing numbers of climbers, it's also accumulating some unwanted weight: Tons and tons of garbage.

"If you're going to Everest for that pristine, I'm-in-the-mountains [experience], it's not the place to go," Anker tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin. "Accept the fact that it's going to be a crowded place."

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Have you been to Mount Everest? How did the crowds and litter affect your experience? Tell us on Weekend Edition's Facebook page or in the comment section below.

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