Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has opened 46 mountains to global visitors, including Mount Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest, attracting more than 20,000 climbers from 40 countries and regions in the past 28 years, the Tibet Mountain Association told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Suonan, secretary of the Tibet Mountain Association, told the Global Times that the association, responsible for mountains above 5,500 meters in Tibet, had received more than 20,000 climbers from 40 countries and regions, including Germany, France and South Korea.
Tibet is home to five mountains above 8,000 meters and thousands above 6,000 meters, above sea level. The region has opened 46 mountains to the public. Of them, Mount Qomolangma is the most popular, and Cho Oyu Mountain and Shishapangma Mountain are ranked second and third, respectively, Suonan said.
In 2018, 186 of 762 foreign climbers from 36 countries and regions successfully reached the summit of Mount Qomolangma, according to a statement sent by the association.
Compared to climbing Mount Qomolangma from the Nepalese side, Tibet's side is more convenient for transportation and has better ecology in terms of garbage collection and disposal, Suonan said.
Both local farmers and professional mountain-climbing guides are responsible for cleaning up the waste on the mountains. After the waste is transported to the camp, it will be sorted out into recyclable and unrecyclable items.
Some camps at Mount Qomolangma also use portable toilets, which protects the environment and make it easy to gather waste.
Tibet has two mountain seasons in a year – spring and autumn. The deadline for signing up is February 28 for spring and July 31 for autumn in 2019.
To ensure the safety of climbers, no person can apply for a climbing permit after the deadline. Without a permit, tourists cannot climb or take photos within the mountainous areas, China Tibet News reported in September.
Climbing teams have to apply for a permit to climb mountains above 5,500 meters, including climbing time and route. Each team must have at least two people, according to local regulation. Unauthorized climbers face a penalty of up to 30,000 yuan (4,320 U.S. dollars).
The visits of climbers had also boosted the local economy, which had helped generate 130 million yuan of profit for local farmers and more than 60 million yuan for local businesses as of 2017, Suo noted.
Farmers are the main freight carriers in the mountainous areas. Each of them can earn more than 330 yuan a day plus 660 yuan in clothing subsidy. Their yaks can carry 45 kilograms of goods, such as oxygen bottles and tents.