Find out why mountaineers climb Mt Everest at their own risk
Known to be the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest is definitely the ultimate dream for every mountaineer. However, this aspiration seems to be a big sacrifice since it may take one’s life. As a matter of fact, there was a deadly ice avalanche last month which caused all mountain guides (sherpas), climbers and other exploration teams to go home in order to save their lives. Unfortunately, there were 16 guides who are still missing after the so-called Everest disaster.
Statistics shows that after the success of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, many mountaineers across the world have been trying to reach the summit, especially during the last week of May where the weather is considerably favorable. In mid-1990s, the Nepali government allowed commercial climbs so as to make its tourism industry prosper. However, Mt. Everest, which measure 8,850 meters and is situated in the Himalayas, has taken the lives of more than 200 people, including 80 sherpas.
Last April 18, an ice avalanche which looked like a huge white cloud quickly came down. People in the base camp were shocked and immediately evacuated the place. The avalanche also hit several cars, buses, and other vehicles adjacent to the camp. Sherpas chose to leave their livelihood since life for them is more important than anything else.
Sherpas, who dig path and fix ropes for local and foreign clients, observed that the ice condition has changed for the past years. As a result, it is hard for them to find a safer route going to the summit. One of the returning climbers was Ed Marzee, a 67-year old California-based lawyer. He narrated how terrible the avalanche that it cost the lives of three sherpas who once accompanied him. Another climber who was present when the avalanche struck was Gordon Janow, programs director of Alpine Ascents.
Sherpas are commissioned by the government in line with its goal of promoting the nation’s tourism. They are provided with salary, good treatment, and other benefits. However, some advocates claimed that government’s support is still not enough and should be widened through implementing new laws.
After the incident, the Nepali government allocated 40,000 rupees or almost $415 to survived families of the victims. However, government officials are encouraging sherpas to return to their post yet the latter are hesitant after the recent disaster which is hailed as the deadliest ever occurred in Mt. Everest.