It all started in 2018, at the Grenoble Mountain Film Festival, when the screening of the film Everest Green, by Jean-Michel Jorda, gives our adventurers, who are already aware of the issues of pollution in the mountains, a concrete idea for a project.
There followed a contact with the director as well as many actors of the high mountains in the Himalayas. The message is clear on both sides: THERE IS AN EMERGENCY!
Numerous are the expeditions leaving to clean up the summits subjected to mass tourism. These are nice collective actions, but the waste is often taken further down the valley and Nepal has no way to treat it.
Jean-Michel was seduced by our project and put us in contact with some trustworthy associations with an ambitious objective: to install an infrastructure to treat waste in the Everest region.
For many years now, he has been travelling the roads of the world on routes that are difficult to access in order to meet people and has brought back magnificent films.
This is how he crossed the Nepalese Himalayas, from the foothills of Kanchenjunga to Mount Kaïlash in Tibet, through the Cordilleras of Peru, the Mongolian steppes or the wide open spaces of Nunavik…
It is with enthusiasm and benevolence that he already accompanies the trio. He knows the Khumbu and its inhabitants very well, which will be a precious asset for the team.
The objective for Jean-Michel, with the Tri-haut pour l’Everest, is therefore to offer a sequel to Everest Green. Indeed, he accompanied an expedition on the Nepalese route which was in charge of cleaning the mountain.
Unfortunately, this is a mixed picture: “But what happens to non-recyclable waste? Cleaning expeditions struggle to complete their mission.”
After Everest Green, which noted the lack of effective response in terms of waste treatment, Jean-Michel Jorda, once again brings his camera and his team on the slopes of Everest to talk about recycling and treatment in order to open a real path for the next generations.
This is the name of this new project, which will take shape over 2 years with the realization of two documentaries.
In addition to the action on the ground with the help brought to the Nepalese population through new infrastructures, the project carries a real reflection on the impact of tourism.
Jean-Michel will talk to us himself about his journey and his vision of the project as well as about the documentary:
A little over 30 years ago, Edmund Hillary railed against what he called “the Everest circus”.
He criticized the neo-alpinists, tourists of the mountains, invaders of the Khumbu valley, having no infrastructure able to cope! He probably had in mind to create these infrastructures, to help the Nepalese, as he had done for schools or hospitals.
Today, expeditions that release tons of waste seem to stick to this idea: Everest must be cleaned up! Probably persuaded to have done the Job! However, are these Westerners thinking about the future of this waste? The Valley of Kathmandu or Khumbu are not the ones of Chamonix. A garbage truck won’t pick up everything and take it to the nearest incinerator…
Today, therefore, the treatment solutions must be brought closer to the mountains, in collaboration with the Nepalese, because if Everest is the highest garbage can in the world, the Kathmandu valley has probably become, in 20 years, the largest open-air landfill.
Cleaning up Everest is a great idea; dealing with the fate of the waste should be a priority.
Jean-Michel Jorda 10/01/2021