"The work is dangerous — a year rarely passes without at least one death on Everest — but the Sherpas, who were once among the poorest and most isolated people of Nepal, also now have schools, cellphones and their own middle class."
All that is the result of the economy of Mount Everest, which brings tens of millions of dollars to Nepal every year.
“We have no problem with what we do. It is a job which helps feed our families, sends our children to school,” Dawa Dorje, 28, a mountain guide from Everest’s foothills, said in Katmandu, where he was picking up equipment for clients.
“The risks for Sherpas on the mountain are twice that of the Western climbers,” said Nima Tenzing, a 30-year-old guide who also runs a shop for trekking gear in Katmandu.
Still, he shows no resentment.
“Death and injury on the mountain is part of our lives now. We have lost many of our people to the mountain. But we have to pull ourselves together and continue our work,” he said.