Part 4: Clean Climbing
It is every climber's responsibility to help keep the glacier environment clean, both for the benefit of your own climbing experience and for the sake of future generations. Proper disposal of trash, fuel cans, and human waste is not only the right thing to do, it is required. Regrettably, violation notices are given out each season to climbers who do not respect these Leave No Trace practices.
Trash and Abandoned Gear
Proper disposal of human waste is critical. Intestinal distress, vomiting and diarrhea may result from contamination of food or drinking water. The resulting dehydration can become a serious or life-threatening problem at altitude. Since all drinking water is obtained from melted snow, precaution must be taken when gathering snow from well-used camps. For the health and safety of all, everyone must follow these simple steps:
Human Waste on Other Denali Routes
If you intend to use the West Buttress route at any point on your ascent or descent you must have and use a CMC. On Denali routes other than the West Buttress, CMCs are not required. On these routes human waste may be deposited into the biodegradable bags issued at the ranger station, and then crevassed or tossed off a portion of the route where it will never be seen again.
The Clean Mountain Can (CMC) was designed specifically to collect and transport human waste in Denali's fragile, remote terrain. The durable CMC comes with a harness system that locks the lid in place, and is sturdy enough to strap on a pack or sled. The CMC comes equipped with a two-way Gortex vent that allows for the release of gases and enables air to enter the can when descending from high altitude. The CMC is designed to have its contents dumped directly out or lined with a biodegradable bag. Currently, the CMC's are manually cleaned and disinfected by a local septic pumping company.