Clean Energy Coaches On Trial Run In Qomolangma National Nature Reserve
Mount Qomolangma, the world's highest mountain
High up on the world’s highest plateau Mount Everest looms large and proud above the vast range of the mighty Himalayas. The highest mountain in the world, this stunning peak is known as Qomolangma in Tibetan, and the northern side of the huge mountain sits inside the borders of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, on the western edge of the Qinghai Tibet Plateau. A favored tourist destination for international and domestic tourists alike, Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve has recently started its first trial runs of clean-energy coaches to provide tourists with a more environmentally-friendly way to visit the renowned Everest Base Camp (EBC) in Tibet.

The base camp of Mount Qomolangma in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region
One of the most delicate ecosystems in the world, the Qomolangma National Nature Reserve is the vast area that lies around the mountain, incorporating several other high mountains and the area of Tingri County that runs to the Tibetan border with Nepal. Hundreds of thousands of visitors make their way across the plateau every year to visit the base camp at the foot of the northern slopes of the famous mountain. And with them came the gas-guzzling SUVs and the heavy-emission coaches that have played a huge part in destabilizing the ozone layer and atmosphere of the planet.

A trial run of clean energy buses goes into operation in the Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve
However, this is all going to come to an end now, as the Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve authority has banned the use of gas-driven engines inside the main central area of the outer core zone of Mount Qomolangma. This latest environmental move has come hot on the heels of the recent move to relocate the “tourist” base camp for Mount Everest to a location 2km further away, close to the Rongbuk Monastery. Now, all tourists to the base camp will be required to stop at the coach station and transfer to the new electric-powered coaches in order to get to the new base camp to get their photos of the world’s highest mountain.

The Qomolangma National Nature Reserve in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region
In total, 13 coaches have been pressed into service to ferry tourists to the base camp and Rongbuk Monastery from a point 20 kilometers back from the camp itself. As visitors arrive at the coach station, which is located 79 kilometers inside the north gate of the reserve, they will be required to alight to the coaches for the rest of the journey. This new rule applies to all travelers to the base camp, whether they are traveling in their own car of by a tour bus. The coaches to EBC depart from the station every ten minutes, starting at around 7:00am and with the last coach returning at around 9:00pm daily. This will allow the tourists the opportunity to take photos of both sunrise and sunset over the mountain.

The Base Camp Marker at the Everest Base Camp in Tibet
According to Wang Shen, the county chief of Tingri County, the coaches have been introduced to try and control the pollution from the vast numbers of cars and buses that travel to the base camp every year, as well as making it easier to collect the trash left by irreverent and irresponsible tourists at the base camp. The coach drivers have also been trained to take care along the 20-kilometer stretch of road to Rongbuk so as not to disturb the wildlife that often appears along the road on the way from the station to EBC. As the latest move to try and balance the delicate ecosystem of the Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve with the development of tourism and the local environmental protection, this new program is a major step forward in protecting one of this planet’s most amazing natural wonders.
TAG: mount qomolangma tibet responsible travel clean energy ecosystem protection environmental protection mounteverest trial run for clean energy coaches


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