Four bodies found during Mount Everest clean-up

Workers spent weeks collecting food wrappings and empty oxygen cylinders. Credit: AP/PA

A clean-up expedition on Mount Everest has removed nearly 11 tonnes of rubbish and four bodies from the world’s highest mountain, reports say.

Tourism Department official Danduraj Ghimire said the cleaners spent weeks collecting food wrappings, cans, bottles and empty oxygen cylinders.

Some of the waste - claimed to weigh more than 10,000 kilograms in total - was flown to Kathmandu and handed to recyclers in a ceremony to officially conclude the cleaning campaign.

The overall weight is roughly double that of a large elephant.

Officials called it a successful mission but said more rubbish still needs to be collected. Some is covered by snow and only exposed when temperatures rise.

Porters transport supplies around Everest base camp. Credit: PA

Officials have not been able to estimate exactly how much waste is on the mountain. Most was at Camps 2 and 3, where climbers rest on the route from base camp to the 29,035ft summit.

Mr Ghimire said the four bodies were exposed by melting snow and carried to base camp before they were flown to a hospital in Kathmandu for identification.

Workers load rubbish, weighing nearly 11 tonnes in total, into trucks. Credit: AP

Climbers struggling to make it down the mountain alive are sometimes unable to carry out the bodies of team-mates who have died.

More than 300 climbers have died on Everest since it was first conquered in 1953. It is unclear how many bodies are still on the mountain, and officials said they have no records.

More than 300 climbers have died on Everest since it was first scaled. Credit: PA

Hundreds of climbers and their guides and porters spend weeks on Everest every spring, the best climbing season.

A tent city rises at the base camp at 17,400ft for three months between March and May.