China plans to cut the number of people who attempt to climb Mount Everest from the Tibet by one-third this year.
The plan is part of a major clean up effort to recover the bodies of climbers who died at more than 8,000 meters up the mountain, known as the “death zone” where the air is too thin to sustain human life, AP reported.
Less than 300 people a year will be able to climb the world’s highest peak via the north side and climbing season will be restricted to Spring.
60,000 Climbers, guides and tourists visit the region between Nepal and Tibet, with hundreds attempting the climb from both sides.
Most climbers tackle the mountain from the southern side, in Nepal but in recent years the Chinese side has experienced a rise in popularity as expedition companies opt to avoid the dangerous ice fall on the Nepalese side, according to the Guardian.
Chinese state media reported a team of 30 cleared 8.5 tonnes of waste including faeces and equipment from the peak in June that had accumulated over two months.
China has also set up a station to sort, recycle and break down rubbish from the mountain.
“Prices have gone up on the Chinese side and they are now asking for a deposit for clearing litter,” Tim Mosedale, a British mountain guide told the Guardian.
Since 2015 climbers have been required to bring back 8kn of rubbish and face a $100 fine for every kilogram they fall short.
“There is always some suspense with the Chinese authorities about whether the mountain will be open and whether an operator will get a permit and what the rules will be,” Mosedale said.
“It seems to be a bit of classic muscle-flexing to show who is boss,”