Mount Everest Climbers Now Must Bag Up Their Own Poop

A new rule is aimed at stopping climbers from using the mountain as an open toilet.

That's it. The ultimate reason that will keep me from climbing Mount Everest has officially been discovered (as if there weren't, in reality, many others…)

Due to an ongoing pollution (and also, just sheer decor) issue, climbers on Mount Everest will now have to collect their poop and bring it back to base camp on their way back. In short, no more open toilets on Mount Everest—it's poop bags from now on.

As the BBC reports, Mingma Sherpa, chairman of the Pasang Lhamu rural municipality, said that the mountains are literally full of it now. It's a stinky phenomenon due to the extreme temperatures, which prevents excrement from completely degrading. "We are getting complaints that human stools are visible on rocks and some climbers are falling sick," Mingma told the BBC. "This is not acceptable and erodes our image."

So poop bags it is. Climbers on Mount Everest and the nearby Mount Lhotse will need to purchase the bags at base camp, and they will be checked for them on their return. Chhiring Sherpa, CEO of the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, told the BBC that his organization estimates that there are roughly three tonnes of human poop between camp one and camp four on Mount Everest.

The poop bags in question, however, aren't your usual plastic bag you get when grocery shopping—so don't stress. They contain chemicals that allow human excrement to solidify and are, therefore, basically odorless. So even if your backpack will be full of it, others at least won't really know.

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.