Through its mission to clean up waste discarded by climbers on once pristine Himalayan mountains, one luxury house is leaving this majestic region in peak condition for future generations.
The world was alarmed by recent photographs of the staggering number of people attempting to climb Mount Everest, with 1200 visitors passing through base camp during the 2019 season alone. Even more disturbing is the amount of waste that is being left behind. Both the mountain and local inhabitants are in urgent need of support as tourists continue to leave their destructive footprint. Swiss luxury house Bally sponsors a major cleanup mission, Bally Peak Outlook, which in its first year removed about two tons of rubbish from Mount Everest, more than half of which was collected from the ‘Death Zone’, the perilous summit area above 8000 metres where oxygen is limited. The expedition was led by Dawa Steven Sherpa and his team of Nepalese Sherpa climbers including Jamling Tenzing Norgay, the son of late Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who summitted Everest alongside Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. They wore specially designed Bally boots on the excursion, as did Norgay and Hillary on their historic climb.
“When I first started climbing in 2007, I was shocked and saddened by the amount of waste abandoned in this magnificent landscape.”
Bally Peak Outlook reached further than any previous cleanup, which had been limited to base camp and the mid-mountain region. “When I first started climbing in 2007, I was shocked and saddened by the amount of waste abandoned in this magnificent landscape,” says Dawa Steven Sherpa, who is the leader of Eco Everest Expeditions and CEO of Asian Trekking. “The following year I made it my goal to pioneer a cleanup mission, which to date has recovered over 19.5 tons of trash. Reaching the summit of Everest requires significant resources, so I was delighted when Bally committed to our cause, aiding and supporting the first organised cleanup of Everest’s summit.” Bally will continue to sponsor more sustained cleanup efforts this year, including the base camp of Mount Everest for a second time. The mission will again be led by Dawa Steven Sherpa and will include base camp cleanups of the seven other 8000-metre mountains in the Himalayas over a two-year period. To celebrate the launch of Bally Peak Outlook, the brand has introduced an exclusive capsule collection, 100 per cent of net proceeds of which will benefit future expeditions. “People come to the Himalayas to enjoy its beauty—the highest mountains in the world,” Norgay says. “They forget that the beauty lies not in the mountains but in the culture. We Sherpas believe mountains are a sacred place. We don’t climb mountains for leisure or sport. We climb because it’s a way of living.”
“We Sherpas believe mountains are a sacred place. We don’t climb mountains for leisure or sport. We climb because it’s a way of living.”