Saturday, April 19, 2014

13 bodies: “The mountains are a death trap”

"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.


edutcher said...

As the Sherpas seem to know better, maybe it's time they quit fueling their own demise.

Paddy O said...

There's not an open post, and I'm about to leave for the evening.

So, I'll leave this here. I have some thoughts on Holy Saturday over on my rarely updated blog.

Something I wrote today, then below that something I wrote in 2008, and below that something I wrote in 2004.

bagoh20 said...

Lot's of jobs are dangerous: taxi drivers, farmer, fisherman, cop, drug dealer, homeless person. Few are as respected and incredible as the Sherpas' job.

Why is it when anyone dies doing something, that suddenly becomes a stupid thing to do. We are are all doing something right now that will lead to our deaths. Maybe we should be aiming higher, not the risk takers aiming lower.

Although I have no desire to climb Everest, I think what the Sherpas do is a pretty cool profession. They help people from around the world live their dreams. They probably meet and climb with some exceptional people from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. They provide very well for themselves, their families, and their communities in a place where the environment, seclusion, and infrastructure would offer nothing but poverty otherwise.

I respect their lives, their choices and the risks that go with them. They could do a lot worse, like live equally or even shorter lives in poverty without the thrills, and specialness of life as a mountain god. Higher boys.

Unknown said...

Really lovely, Paddy O. And a nice fit in the risk thread.
Happy Easter.

Aridog said...

What Bagoh20 said. Nothing more to add. Really.

William said...

I'm sorry to hear of their deaths. Their deaths were nowhere near as stupid as those they lead up the mountain......Why do you have to climb Everest to validate your life? Climbing Everest is for high achievers with debased imaginations. The wonders of the world should not be high end consumer products.