It’s disheartening to witness these kinds of images because it really wouldn’t take much for humans to clean up after themselves.
Understandably, K2 is incredibly hostile. It is notorious for deaths on descent and so the idea of picking up trash and cleaning up the mess seems unfathomable. But this is no excuse.
I’m not an expedition leader, or logistics company, but if I was, I’d utilize some of the profits to protect these environments and insist and enforce policies that would honor the sanctity of these spaces.
I’ve read some comments online excusing the mess of ropes as one example, claiming: this is K2 not Everest. My argument is: one life lost is one too many. How many more need to die unnecessarily? How much would it cost to to coordinate one consistent rope color as an example? Isn’t ones life worth it? Money should be allocated as part of the expedition permits and fees to clean up these mountains, not only to protect Nature and our beautiful Earth, but to protect climbers from unnecessary fatal falls.
There’s a lot of money passing through the pockets of the leaders/company owners in this business and some of it should be reinvested to keep these mountains clean and safe. It really wouldn’t take much.
We are better than this and we need to do better.