China plans major cut in number of Everest climbers

China says it will cut the number of climbers attempting to scale Everest from the northern face by 1/3 this year as part of plans for a major cleanup on the world's highest peak

The total number of climbers seeking to summit the world's highest peak at 8,850 meters (29,035 feet) from the north will be limited to less than 300 and the climbing season restricted to spring, the reports said.

The cleanup efforts will include the recovery of the bodies of climbers who died at more than 8,000 meters (26,246 feet) up the mountain, they said.

China has set up stations to sort, recycle and break down garbage from the mountain, which includes cans, plastic bags, stove equipment, tents and oxygen tanks.

On the Nepalese side, mountaineering expedition organizers have begun sending huge trash bags with climbers during the spring climbing season to collect trash that then can be winched by helicopters back to the base camp.

Everest claims multiple victims each year, often in the "death zone" above 8,000 meters (26,246 feet), where the air is too thin to sustain human life.

In 2017, 648 people summited Everest, including 202 from the north side, according to the nonprofit Himalayan Database. Six people were confirmed to have died on the mountain that year, one of them on the north side.

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