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K2: Environmental impact of anniversary treks

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of the K2 summit in the Himalayas the Italian Alpine Association is organising several treks to the mountain's base camps. Up to 60,000 people are expected to pass through some of the intermediate camps this year. The problems this causes include the insufficiently rapid degradation of biological waste at high altitude, the pollution of rivers, or damage to the vegetation through the gathering of firewood. A number of expeditions are also to make greater use of helicopters.
Mountain Wilderness International has expressed concern about the environmental impact of excessively high visitor numbers and called upon the government of Pakistan to implement regulations. Tourist flows should be spread to other mountain regions and maximum quotas allocated for the region around K2. Moreover each mountaineer should bear responsibility for preventing lasting damage to high-altitude mountain regions.
Source and information: 07.05.2004 http://kairn.com/news.html?ident=21046 (fr)
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