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Ruben Massarelli - Challenge of managing human waste in high altitude, Aconcagua

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Ruben Massarelli's presentation to Sustainable Summits 2014.

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Ruben Massarelli - Challenge of managing human waste in high altitude, Aconcagua

  1. 1. Challenge of managing humanChallenge of managing human waste in high altitude.waste in high altitude. Case study of the AconcaguaCase study of the Aconcagua Provincial Park.Provincial Park. Sustainable Summits Conference July 20-24, 2014 Rubén Massarelli
  2. 2. Aconcagua Provincial Park Aconcagua Provincial Park Campsites Localities Peaks Railway Highway Rivers Natural Protected Area System Mendoza, Argentina Sup. 710 Km2
  3. 3. Climate •Cold and dry (above 4000m below 0°C) •Freezing days all year round •Strong winds (200 km/h) •Mountain rivers •Under ground water •Glacier lakes •Wetlands in meadows Climate •Cold and dry (above 4000m below 0°C) •Freezing days all year round •Strong winds (200 km/h) •Mountain rivers •Under ground water •Glacier lakes •Wetlands in meadows Geology and Soils U- shaped valleys, moraine deposits Mountain glaciers Thin soils, sandy loam Meadows soils: rich in organic matter Geology and Soils U- shaped valleys, moraine deposits Mountain glaciers Thin soils, sandy loam Meadows soils: rich in organic matter
  4. 4. Climbing Season 15 Nov – 15 Mar Day treking (1 Day) Short Trekking (3 Days) Long Trekking (7 Days) Climbing (20 Days) 70 % Horcones Valley 30 % Vacas Valley Season 2013-2014 3.056 Climbers 2.480 Trekkers
  5. 5. 2400 – 3000 mts. 3000 – 3500 mts. 3500 – 4500 mts. 4500 – 6960 mts. Horcones - Vacas Confluencia - Leñas Mulas - Argentina Nido - berlín- Summit Entrance Aproaching Camps Base Camps High Camps
  6. 6. Front country toilets •leaching field is in a alpine meadow •New Sistem for water extraction – connected to general pipe. •Visitor Center •50.000 visitors (in summer) •700 people day •Toilets, shower and dishwasher• Information –Tickets sales • Check In – Check Out • Plastic Bag delivery (for rubbish)
  7. 7. Mid altitude toilets toilets, shower and dishwashes exits connected to the septic tank. •chemical products (liquids) affect the pit absorption capacity= new pits constructed • lixiviation to the soil • pollution of under ground water and river septic tank pit
  8. 8. 4 Toilets base camps •Each company has its own bathroom (some has 2) •We try to take the barrels in pairs (because the weight) •The barrels are left in a temporary deposit
  9. 9. Toilets high altitude
  10. 10. 1 2 3 Why is a challenge? No money from government (NO budget) Aconcagua produces 98% money for all sistem (16 NPA). Around U$S 1.500.000 $ Only 3 NPA collect money Mendoza has 16 natural protected areas. The money is for: fuel, food, vehicles, uniforms, personnel, helicopter, doctors, tools, etc. 1 Aconcagua Provincial Park 2 Diamante Lagoon 3 Las brujas Cavern
  11. 11. Why is a challenge? Limited resources 2 Vehicles 10 Park Rangers 30 asistants (Limited training) 16 Rescue patrols (Only for victims in the mountains) 22 Doctors 240 Hours of helicopter •Tourist assistance •Patrol •Research assistance •Supervise camps •Interpretation •Safety and law enforcement •Work with helicopter •etc •Staff relay •Medical care •Logistics •Take out of garbage and human waste •Search and Rescue 1 Person for mules control
  12. 12. Why is a challenge? Management plan has not ended - No study of capacity -
  13. 13. No income limit for climbers or mules Why is a challenge? Climbers Mules
  14. 14. However… •Take out 22.500 Kg of human Waste (aprox. 80 fly hours)
  15. 15. •Take out 13.800 Kg of rubbish •Begin to separate liquid from solids in base camps bathrooms
  16. 16. •100 Days stay in high camps•259 Patrols = 460 Kg High camps garbage
  17. 17. •Mules control in both entries •52 New Signs "Other than respect and affection, mountains DO NOT need any of your belongings. Please, take your rubbish with you" •Implementation of good practices
  18. 18. thank you! Photos Thanks to A. Barros – G. Araujo – S. Rossi – P. Betancourt – D. Ferrer

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