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Mount Everest Climber Warns Of An Overpopulated Mountain

Conrad Anker is an American mountaineer and the leader of the North Face climbing team.
Conrad Anker is an American mountaineer and the leader of the North Face climbing team.
To look on both sides of the Himalayas from the top of the peak is a pretty singular place to be — it's a source of happiness for me.

Each week,Weekend Edition Sundayhost Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Perhaps no active climber is more closely associated with Mount Everest these days than Conrad Anker. He has reached the highest point on Earth three times, and he discovered the body of George Mallory — the British climber who may or may not have reached Everest's summit before disappearing in 1924.

Anker has also made the preservation of Mount Everest one of his priorities. Today, as the world's highest mountain compels ever-increasing numbers of climbers, it's also accumulating some unwanted weight: Tons and tons of garbage.

"If you're going to Everest for that pristine, I'm-in-the-mountains [experience], it's not the place to go," Anker tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin. "Accept the fact that it's going to be a crowded place."

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