Throughout the world, there are jobs that literally include life or death scenarios, but usually for a business. The Sherpa, however, assist climbers seeking personal accomplishments. While there are climbers who make a point of paying the Sherpa directly, the majority do not, choosing instead to go through a commercial third party which does not pass down any of the high fees to the Sherpa. Instead, the corrupt Nepalese Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation pocket the monies that should be passed on to the men who put their lives on the line every climbing season.
Without a Sherpa, Everest would not be an option for climbers. The loss of 16 Sherpa lives in the recent avalanche tragedy was devastating. The Ministry’s corruption can no longer be denied and we hope the Sherpa’s petitioned demands are met.
In this week’s podcast, I speak with Kevin Vann of Trek 8848 (which includes treks to Everest Base Camp) about the life of a Sherpa, and the dangerous work they choose to support their families.