Thursday, May 11, 2023

The well-known Sherpas of Nepal leave their position, saying, "I see no future"

‘I see no future’: Nepal’s Sherpas leave the job they made famous

 KATHMANDU: It was an opportunity to bring your child to work. The dad's goal, in any case, was not to rouse. In late 2021, Kami Rita Sherpa, a well-known Nepali mountain guide who holds the record for the most Mount Everest ascents, took his 24-year-old son, Lakpa Tenzing, to the base of the majestic peak and advised him that this was the closest he could get to it. Kami Rita Sherpa recalled telling his son, "Look at me, it's a struggle." I see no future. "

As the risk-to-reward calculation for more Sherpa families argues for abandoning the mountain, it is an increasingly common sentiment in a trade that has frequently been passed down through the generations.

The risks of directing climbers to the world's most noteworthy top, with the always present chance of falls, torrential slides and outrageous climate, are clear. According to the Himalayan Database, a mountaineering record-keeping body, Sherpa guides have been responsible for nearly one third of the 315 deaths on Everest that have been documented over the course of the past century. Three Sherpas perished just one month ago when they were struck by an ice column at a glacier near the mountain's base camp.

Even those who make it to an elite and decorated club of guides after years of grueling climbs and demonstrated success get paid very little. The majority of Sherpas' annual income comes from their once-a-season Everest expedition, which costs them about $4,000, excluding gear costs. However, the lack of safety it provides is driving Sherpas out of the business and deterring their children from entering it. Because insurance payouts are limited and the government's promised welfare fund for Sherpa guides has not materialized, there is little protection for a guide's family in the event that he or she becomes disabled or passes away.

Some people who leave the mountain are moving elsewhere. Others have found anything work they can inside Nepal. " Kaji Sherpa, who quit as a Sherpa guide in 2016 after eight years and became a security guard, stated, "I won't suggest my hard-raised children to continue the same risky mountain guide jobs." When 16 Sherpas were killed in an avalanche in 2014, Kaji Sherpa survived one of the most deadly disasters on Everest.

Apa Sherpa, a famous guide who held the record for most Everest summits until Kami Rita Sherpa broke it in 2018, is one of those who have left the mountains behind. In 2006, Apa Sherpa, who is now 63 years old, moved to Utah, USA, with his family. Tenzing, the eldest son of Apa Sherpa and an accountant for a biotech company, stated, "It's all for education." He worked hard in the mountains because my mother and father did not have access to education. Lakpa, 24, the son of Kami Rita Sherpa, is pursuing a degree in tourism management. I intend to pursue a career as a landscape photographer, which will bring me closer to the mountain but from afar.

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