The shadow of Mount Everest over the western Himalayas in Nepal
© Kent Karvey/KH Films, Inc./Tandem Stills + Motio
In Everest’s shadow. Everest's shadow on the Himalayas
It's International Mountain Day, so breathe in as much of that crisp mountain air as you can. That shadow on the Himalayas is cast by Mount Everest, the tallest peak of them all, at 29,032ft (8,848m) above sea level.
This year’s theme is sustainable tourism and Everest has suffered its fair share of the other kind. As the top mountaineering destination on Earth, it hosts as many as 600 climbers a season, as well as many seasons' worth of rubbish and discarded gear. When Nepal launched a clean-up scheme in 2019, they found three tonnes of rubbish in the first two weeks.
Everest is a reminder that wherever we go, it's our responsibility to leave no trace - or, as eco-conscious climbers say: “What goes up must come down.”