Climbers who come from around the world to tackle North America’s tallest mountain face packing out more of their own human waste after an expert found that a glacier in which much of it is dumped is probably not breaking it down.
National Park Service (NPS) rangers trying to protect the spectacular slopes of Denali – formerly widely known as Mount McKinley – in Alaska are concerned that human poop is blighting the environment there.
Michael - Loso - Geologist - Mountaineers - Peak
Michael Loso, a glacier geologist, calculates that 36,000 mountaineers attempting the treacherous peak between 1951 and 2012 have deposited up to 215,000 pounds of solid human waste on to Kahiltna glacier, on the most popular summit route.
Since 2007, the NPS has required that climbers keep waste off the mountain’s surface. Alpinists catch their poop in biodegradable bags and pitch it into deep crevasses on the glacier.
Loso - Research - Waste - Bottom - Glacier
However, Loso’s research indicates human waste never reaches the bottom of the glacier and will never fully disintegrate. He warns of the prospect of the waste reappearing downstream as stains on...
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