A third fewer climbers will be allowed to attempt Everest from the north this year as China plans a major clean up of the world's highest peak.

The total number of climbers allowed to try to conquer the mountain from the north will be limited to fewer than 300 and the climbing season will be restricted to the spring, state media reported.

The clean up will also include the recovery of bodies of climbers who have died on the upper reaches of the 29,035ft mountain.

The popularity of the mountain as a once-in-a-lifetime challenge attracts growing numbers of climbers, but there are concerns they are turning it into a high-altitude tip.

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Mountaineers complain the slopes are now strewn with discarded oxygen bottles and rubbish.

China has set up stations to sort, recycle and break down waste from the mountain, which includes cans, plastic bags, stove equipment, tents and oxygen tanks.

Parts of Everest are in China and Nepal and thousands flock to the mountain each spring and autumn when climbing conditions are at their best.

Each year, about 60,000 climbers and guides visit the Chinese north side of the mountain, which China refers to by its Tibetan name, Mount Qomolangma.

Authorities on both sides of the mountain have tried different schemes to try to clean up the junk left behind.

Chinese officials last summer said they had removed eight-and-a-half tonnes of rubbish, including large amounts of human excrement, from the mountain. In the past the Indian army has cleaned up tonnes of rubbish on the Nepalese side, where expedition organisers have begun sending huge bin bags with climbers during the spring climbing season to collect waste that then can be winched by helicopters back to the base camp.

A clean up campaign led by Nepalese sherpas last year aimed to airlift 100 tonnes of rubbish from the mountain.

In 2017, 648 people summited Everest, including 202 from the north side, according to the nonprofit Himalayan Database. Six people were confirmed to have died on the mountain that year, one of them on the north side.

Everest claims multiple victims each year, often in the "death zone" above 8,000 metres (26,246 feet), where the air is too thin to sustain human life.

The large numbers now attempting to scale Everest has also raised concerns about overcrowding and the lack of climbing experience held by some of the visitors.

Mountaineers have complained of a rise in dangerously inexperienced climbers attempting to reach the summit, while others have to wait in "traffic jams" and bottlenecks on busy parts of the mountain.

This article originally appeared on the Daily Telegraph.