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Everest Climbing Season In Doubt As Sherpas Call For Boycott

This article is more than 8 years old.

Representatives of Sherpa mountain guides in Nepal are meeting with the government and climbers groups as some in their community call for a boycott of this year's Mount Everest climb.

This comes after the avalanche on Friday that killed 13 Sherpa guides — the deadliest disaster on the mountain. Three guides are still missing.

As the Everest climbing season gets underway, more than 300 international climbers are already at the mountain, acclimating and preparing for the journey up to the top of the world.

Climbers on Everest have historically depended on Sherpas to haul gear and oxygen, set lines for climbs, establish camps and cook meals. As part of their work, Sherpas often make parts of the trek multiple times for each climb, with all that gear, exposing them to more danger than the professional climbers.

For all that work and danger, a top high-altitude Sherpa guide can hope to earn about $6,000 in the three-month climbing season. The average annual income in Nepal is $700 per year.

Sherpas want the minimum insurance payment to survivors of guides killed on Everest to be doubled to about $20,000, and they want more help for injured guides. In addition, they want to government to enact more rules on safety for climbs.

The BBC's Surendra Phuyal told Here & Now's Robin Young that the whole of Nepal has been affected by this disaster and he expects talks will go all week before there is any clear resolution about the financial issues and the boycott.

Note: This interview can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or with the WBUR mobile app.


This segment aired on April 21, 2014.


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