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Japanese Alpinist to Clean Up Mt. Manaslu
'Nepal's beauty and prosperity lies in its mountains and natural landscape,' says Ken Noguchi
Rupesh Silwal (rooproop)     Print Article 
Published 2005-05-26 12:33 (KST)   
Noguchi and team cleaning up Mt. Everest
©2005 R.Silwal
Nearly 50 years since the first successful Japanese ascent of Mt. Manaslu -- the eighth highest peak in the world -- a Japanese mountaineer who set a record for climbing seven mountains on seven continents, all at the age of 25, is launching a mountain clean-up campaign.

Speaking at a press conference organized in Kathmandu earlier this week, Ken Noguchi, 31, said, "Nepal's beauty and prosperity lies in its mountains and natural landscape. It must be protected for the sake of eco-tourism and environmental administration."

He added that the memory of the first Japanese summit of Mt. Manaslu has given his country a special emotional attachment to the mountain.

"Mt. Manaslu has been victimized due to garbage left behind from past expeditions," said Noguchi. "If each mountaineer is conscientious and brings back garbage, the problem wouldn't be serious."

Nearly six tons of garbage was brought down from Mt. Everest.
©2005 R.Silwal
He will include 30 members including five Japanese, some Europeans and 21 Nepalis in the clean-up campaign. He is confident that the team will bring back garbage, including tents, ropes, food packet and cylinders, and possibly dead bodies of mountaineers that the team may find on the mountain.

Noguchi estimates the clean-up operation will cost US$200,000. "I will collect the funds from different international agencies for the campaign," he explained.

The mountaineer will begin the campaign next April on the anniversary of the first Japanese ascent. On May 9, 1956 the 8,156-meter-high mountain was scaled by Kiishiro Kato, Toshio Imanishi, Minuru Higeta and Nepali guide Gyalzen Norbu Sherpa.

Manaslu's long ridges and valley glaciers offer feasible approaches from all directions and the routes culminate in a peak that towers steeply above its surrounding landscape.

About 33 Japanese and 253 other mountaineers have scaled Mt. Manaslu; nearly 70 have been killed.

Noguchi, who scaled Mt. Everest in 1999, also carried out a clean-up campaign of Everest two years ago. About six tons of garbage were brought down the mountain.

Noguchi has also been providing financial support for the education of 10 children of Sherpa guides who died on different expeditions.

Mt. Manaslu is the fourth most climbed mountain in Nepal.

A Message from Former Prime Minister of Japan, Ryutaro Hashimoto

Dear Ken Noguchi,

There are many mountains in Nepal, but none of them has historical ties to Japanese more than Mt. Manaslu. Fifty years ago, in 1956, Japan was surprised to see the accomplishment of the Japanese climbing party. However, we should not forget that so many lives were lost in the process of these great challenges.

I heard that you plan to clean up Mt. Manaslu. Your activities are known worldwide now. I also respect that you accomplished great achievements on Mt. Fuji and in other national parks in Japan.

As we all know, humans must coexist with nature but we have been devastated the environment of the earth. We definitely must leave a legacy of nature to future generations. The 21st century is called an environmental century. Let's preserve beautiful nature for the future!

I earnestly hope that your activities will succeed.

Sincerely yours,

Ryutaro Hashimoto

- Noguchi expresses happiness on Mt. Everest cleaning campaign (Japanese) 
- Noguchi explains the Mt. Manaslu cleaning campaign (Japanese) 

©2005 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Rupesh Silwal

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