Close banner

Support Outside Online

Love Outside?

Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today.

Contribute to Outside

Human Waste Melting Out From McKinley

Could emerge in 15 years

Tons of human waste dumped into crevasses on Mt. McKinley's glaciers could surface in the next two decades, according to scientists from Alaska Pacific University. Glaciologist Mike Loso says that the estimated 65 tons of solid waste will work its way to the bottom of the glacier in the next 15 to 25 years. But while the droppings will still be full of illness-causing bacteria like fecal coliform and E. coli, it won't likely pose a threat to human health. "We could do the math and figure out how many kilograms of bear poop are out there and we'd come up with a huge number too," Loso said. Climbers on the peak are required to carry out waste in Clean Mountain Cans lower on the peak, but can dump it in crevasses higher on the mountain.

Read more at Alaska Public Radio

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News