Sherpas Might Boycott Everest Expeditions

Everest Mountain Peak - the top of the world

Several Mount Everest climbing expeditions could be canceled following the April 18 avalanche that killed 16 Sherpas and wounded many others.

“Distraught Nepalese guides and climbers cancelled expeditions on Mount Everest on Monday after at least 13 colleagues died in an avalanche, as anger mounted at poor payments for Sherpas who take huge risks on the world’s highest peak,” reports Agence France-Presse.

As Sherpas halt expeditions to grieve, they are also deciding whether to protest their wages, which they consider too low for such a dangerous job. Everest expeditions rely heavily on Sherpas, who risk more than the average foreign climber because they carry supplies up the mountain, put in fixed ropes and set up camps.

USA Today reports that Sherpas are demanding that the “minimum insurance payment for those killed on Everest to be doubled to $20,800, and a portion of the climbing fee charged by the government to be reserved for a relief fund.”

Sherpa Pasang of the Nepal National Mountain Guide Association told USA Today that Sherpas have demanded that the government provide “$10,400 for the families of dead, missing and injured Sherpa guides in immediate financial aid. They also want assurance that the government will bring regulations to protect them in the future.”

While Sherpas contemplate a protest, some guiding companies are canceling climbs. “Seattle-based Alpine Ascents International, which lost four Sherpas in the accident with another still missing, has decided to cancel its expedition, according to its sirdar (Sherpa captain),” reports AFP.

Lakpa Rita Sherpa told AFP, “This was one of the worst days on the mountain and all those who died are Sherpas, so many of those left don’t want to go ahead.”

While Outside reports that Joby Ogwyn still plans to jump from the Mount Everest Summit in a wingsuit, the Discovery Channel has canceled its live broadcast of the event, according to AFP.


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