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No More Sherpa Blood for Western Stunts
The Aspen Times, by Glenn K. Beaton

Original Article

Posted By:mytoocents, 5/25/2014 3:17:38 AM

As I trekked to Everest Base Camp this month, I often thought about the 16 Sherpas who were crushed to death by an avalanche just days earlier as they ported the loads of Westerners through the Khumbu Icefall far above me. And I thought about their 40-some children who were left fatherless. I thought about the 16 and the 40 when I saw: • A young porter laboring up the steep rocky trail at 16,000 feet with a full-sized gas oven on his back, so that Westerners could enjoy fresh croissants and birthday cakes in the 1,000-person tent city they

Comments:
Interesting apolitical take on the Sherpa tragedy, published appropriately in The Aspen Times..

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Jed, 5/25/2014 4:05:49 AM     (No. 9860988)

Shut down most of the climbs, the Sherpas make much less and then he can complain about that.


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Reply 2 - Posted by: miceal, 5/25/2014 4:07:38 AM     (No. 9860989)

Where to begin...? I suspect the ONLY money making venture in Nepal is mountain climbing. These "Sherpas" do what the do to earn money to take care of themselves and their families. Sorry Glenn, I don´t feel sorry for a man trying to earn a living but I do feel sorry for a man whining about him doing same.....

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R-G1
  


 
Reply 3 - Posted by: smcchk, 5/25/2014 4:18:38 AM     (No. 9860993)

The author has a point: Sherpas are paid but do they have a choice when there is little other work to be had?
Are the Sherpas being exploited to provide Westerners with comforts and luxuries as they "conquer" Everest. The author asks only that you put wealthy Westerners´ pursuit of pleasure and adventure into some perspective.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Lalo, 5/25/2014 4:27:33 AM     (No. 9860994)

Excellent. Thank you, OP. I re-posted on FB and hope it makes the rounds.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Lalo, 5/25/2014 4:39:21 AM     (No. 9860996)

I´m surprised people have a problem with this article. I don´t think his point is to shut down the expeditions but to have the Everest climbers reflect on what some of them are mindlessly doing.

And no; mountain-climbing is far from the only money-making enterprise in Nepal although it´s true that it´s about the only one in the Khumbu region. Otherwise, they farm, etc.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Jed, 5/25/2014 4:52:22 AM     (No. 9860998)

I have no problem with the article, and think most people who do the mountain are rich fools. Do have a problem with the author.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Citizen Plain, 5/25/2014 6:27:29 AM     (No. 9861027)

Nasty death dollars are teddible. Everybody smokes ganja there, too, author conveniently omits

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Reply 8 - Posted by: CincyMom, 5/25/2014 7:35:25 AM     (No. 9861059)

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa did it without benefit of freshly baked croissants or soft furniture or laptop computers. The author makes some very good points. And he isn´t saying to end the climbing. Anyone who wants to say they "conquered" Everest should try it the Hillary/Norgay way.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: 3xalady, 5/25/2014 7:37:23 AM     (No. 9861060)



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Reply 10 - Posted by: catfur27, 5/25/2014 8:14:15 AM     (No. 9861087)

Interesting article...don´t shoot the messenger.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: zephyrgirl, 5/25/2014 9:58:21 AM     (No. 9861190)

Everest has become another item on rich westerners´ "bucket list." Most them have little appreciation for the risks involved and the sacrifices the Sherpas make so that they can send emails to their friends from base camp. Like the author, I´m not impressed by anyone who has "summited" in the last decade.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: MDConservative, 5/25/2014 10:24:24 AM     (No. 9861219)

Sorry, life is cheap in some places. Of course, we could invite all of Nepal to work in our restaurants and landscape businesses.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: mytoocents, 5/25/2014 10:30:59 AM     (No. 9861224)

MDConservative-

Just because life is cheap in some parts of the world, does not mean that we should buy it for the low price at which it is offered. We´re better than that, as any MD ought to know. (How would you feel about allowing Sherpas to sell their eyes and arms in an organ-donation scheme?)

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Reply 14 - Posted by: LouD, 5/25/2014 10:38:41 AM     (No. 9861232)

#13, don´t you recognize a little sarcasm? Guess not.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: mytoocents, 5/25/2014 10:54:14 AM     (No. 9861256)

#14- It´s a little hard to tell on that one. If you´re right that MDConservative intended his comment facetiously, then my apologies. (I might have erroneously attributed to him some of the venom I saw in the comments above his. My bad.)

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Reply 16 - Posted by: NorthernDog, 5/25/2014 10:55:07 AM     (No. 9861259)

Good article - the author is most concerned with climbers wanting their creature comforts and performing circus acts that require lots of Sherpa assistance.
I liked it better when summiting Everest was a rare fete, only witnessed by a few human eyes and an occasional Yeti.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: farmwife, 5/25/2014 10:58:32 AM     (No. 9861264)

Raising awareness is not a bad thing. I know I had no idea how all that works.

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R_DBL_B
  


 
Reply 18 - Posted by: Hazymac, 5/25/2014 10:59:23 AM     (No. 9861265)

Had Hemingway been born three generations later, I could imagine him writing a moving fiction novel about Himalayan mountain climbing, with a noble Nepali Sherpa in the role of Hemingway hero.

What these Sherpa guides have done, over and over through the years, is nothing short of heroic. Yes, some of the foreign climbers have played their own herioc parts, but the Sherpas in their high altitude element remind me of the wizened Cuban fisherman Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea, at comfort in danger. Up high, they´re in their proper place.

Until his death a few years ago, Sir Edmund Hillary was a champion of his friends the Sherpas, doing all he could to make their hards lives more comfortable. They are a poor people, and working as guides for high altitude trekkers and climbers provide them living standards that are far higher than average. With that employment comes risk--a risk that most of them are willing to hazard. A Himalayan mountainside is one of the most dangerous places on earth, probably even more perilous than sailing in the stormy Southern Ocean.

If I were a younger man, I´d love to visit the roof of the world myself. Reinhold Messner, the first man to stand on the summit of all fourteen 8,000 meter (26,208 feet, or higher), wrote a riveting book about those conquests. I recommend All 14 Eight Thousanders highly. After the tragedy of 4/18/14, Himalayan mountaineering will pause then continue.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: glcinpdx, 5/25/2014 1:46:44 PM     (No. 9861461)

Interesting article. Sounds like the modern self-indulgence of the climbers make them more like Sir Edmund Hillary Clinton than her namesake.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: Lalo, 5/26/2014 12:57:17 AM     (No. 9861962)

´Sorry, life is cheap in some places´???? No, #12, life is not cheap - maybe in any place but certainly not in that rather sparsely populated place. Himalayans are good and peaceful people and they care as much about their loved ones as much as you do.

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