Mount Everest: Plans to move base camp as melting glaciers puts it at risk

The Nepalese government plan to move one of the two Everest base camps due to glaciers melting. Credit: PA

Plans are being made to move Nepal's Everest base camp due to global warming and human activity rendering it unsafe.

A new site is being planned for a lower altitude, due to the Khumbu glacier rapidly melting.

Last year, the Nepalese government issued around 400 permits allowing climbers to try and tackle Everest.

However, the base camp itself is frequented by thousands more who trek to the bottom of the mountain.

Base camp at Everest. Credit: PA

Director of Nepal's tourism department, Tara Nath Adhikari, told reporters: "We are now preparing for the relocation and we will soon begin consultation with all stakeholders.

"It is basically about adapting to the changes we are seeing at the base camp and it has become essential for the sustainability of the mountaineering business itself."

Plans being drawn up fall in line with recommendations made by a committee formed by Nepal's government to monitor the Everest region.

The southern base camp is currently located 5,400m above the mountain's snow line, but the new plans would shift it as far as 400m lower.

It is hoped the lack of all-year-round ice in the are will make it safer for those making the trek.

Climber making their way to base camp. Credit: PA

Mr Adhikari told Sky News that he doesn't believe the changes would put off climber.

He said: "It will not make it harder to climb but it will make it safer because we have to focus on sustainability.

"If you can climb the mountain, but the next generation cannot, that is not good.

"We have to preserve the mountain."

It is thought the camp won't be moved imminently or that its movement will make it harder for climbers to reach the summit with a provisional date of 2024 being set.

Another issue facing the region is the climbers themselves, it has been reported that waste is often left behind either on the mountain or at the base camps.

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Back in 2020, satellite images taken across 25 years have revealed a "significant" expansion of plant life across parts the Himalayan mountain range.

A study by scientists from the University of Exeter compared NASA satellite data from 1993 and 2018 to measure the coverage of Himalayan plants above the treeline but below the snowline - often grasses and small shrubs.

They found the greenery covers an area up to 15 times larger than the area of the Himalayas covered in permanent ice and snow.

And on Mt Everest, the most famous of the Himalayan peaks, vegetation was found "at the limit" of where plants were previously thought to be able to grow.