What Is The Point Of Climbing Mt. Everest? Ask A Sherpa.

There are many reasons why people risk their life in attempt to climb to the top Mount Everest.  For some, it is a thrill seeking journey, for others it maybe spiritual, or simply a life goal. They spend close to $50,000 to be given the opportunity to ascend this magnificent mountain. Most of these climbers would never make it to the summit if it were not for the Himalayan mountaineer guides. The Sherpas. 

For a Sherpa, climbing the mountain is not recreational nor is it done for pride or for a transcendent experience. The Sherpa mountaineers risk their lives out of necessity. Scaling Mount Everest is a means for providing for their family. It is a job. During a two month period, a Sherpa guide will earn an average sum of $5000. The Napali people earn an average of $700 a year, according to The World Bank data. 

The Sherpas build a path of for what will be the safest way for climbers to reach the summit. Which is basically stringing up rope and ladders so “climbers” can have the illusion that they are climbing the mountain on their own. It is also the duty of a Sherpa to shuttle up the paid climber’s tents, food, and oxygen. 

Of the many dangers that inhabit this Himalayan mountain, avalanches are very common. What is being described as the worst accident in the history of Mount Everest, occurred today, early Friday morning. At around 6am an avalanche rushed down a climbing path where a group of Sherpas were transporting up a load of equipment. Thus far, 12 Nepalese guides have been confirmed dead, 4 are still missing, and several others have been severely injured. 

When you think about the situation, you have a bunch tourist/ “adventurist” who pay the natives of Nepal to haul their stuff up the tallest mountain in the world. Sherpas are not forced to do what they do, however I am certain that if it were not for the terrible state of the economy, they would choose a safer occupation. The Sherpa guides are some of the hardest working men in the world and they do what they do for a few thousand dollars in order to support their families. 

It takes great skill and courage to be a Sherpa guide and they do what the do to escape a life of poverty. They put their life on the line to build a safer path for the well-off paying climber. Many of these paying climbers make a Sherpa’s job much more dangerous because they leave behind loads of waste, which has to be cleaned up.

I do not know what/if any kind of life insurance is provided to the Sherpa guides, but it is terribly tragic to hear about hard working people who lose their life in the name of supporting their family. 

May these brave men rest in peace.