Yesterdays entry explained the monetary benefit of becoming a Sherpa. I suspect that those who died, as well as the Sherpa's still living and working in these treacherous mountains, accept these dangerous assignments, not for the danger, but for the financial compensation. I am saddened by their deaths, as I am for soldiers, firefighters, and law enforcement officers, who die in the line of duty.
Published April 23, 2014
Sixteen Sherpas were killed in an April 18 avalanche in the deadliest single day on Everest, but there's a long history of fatalities on the mountain.
There is NO tragedy here, except perhaps for the Sherpas. Every single one of these people died because they wanted to do something that was potentially lethal. That was their purpose. Where would the purpose be if it were not dangerous. If they wanted to do something difficult, they could run 100 miles or forgive their neighbor or invent cold fusion. I have exactly the same amount of sympathy for them as I do for people who run with the bulls. There is nothing strenuous about running with the bulls. People do it because it is dangerous. People do not swim the English Channel because it is potentially lethal; they do it because it is extremely difficult. Admittedly Everest is both potentially lethal and extremely difficult, but they do it because it is dangerous.
They knew the risks. If no one ever died from doing it, then it wouldn't be so attractive to them. Perhaps they do it because they hate themselves for wasting their time and money on a meaningless pursuit. If I had their kind of money that can afford to go to Nepal, it wouldn't be to do something that might kill me. I would be helping poor people. It is just a self-destructive pastime for selfish people.
Wow. This is why I have explored Everest via the internet. And it is stunning. Now, question... how many of those dead are still there? I know that because of conditions, not all have been brought back. How many are still there?
Latest From Nat Geo
It's all hands (and paws) on deck when it comes to the poaching crisis in Africa.
For Sebastián García Iglesias, the ghosts of his ancestors are stitched to the tapestry of the land they pioneered.
In this new series, writers and photographers from around the world reflect on places that hold special meaning for them.