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The Value of A Sherpa Life | Mountaineering |

Sherpas Everest OutsideOnline Tragedy

Sherpa Ang Kaji, taking a break near the bottom of the Khumbu Ice Fall, in 2012. Kaji and 15 other Sherpas were killed in the April 17 avalanche.  


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Increasingly, the pinnacle of adventure tourism—the summit of Everest—comes at too steep a cost. In the August 2013 issue, I wrote a story titled "Disposable Man," about the routinization of Sherpa deaths on Everest. Today’s avalanche was the worst accident in the history of the mountain. Add to this the April 2 death of Sherpa Mingma Tenzing, who was working for the Peak Freaks expedition, as well as at least a dozen serious injuries from the avalanche, and 2014 stands out as the bloodiest year in Everest history— all before most teams have even set foot on the mountain.

Yes, something needs to be done.

Everest seems as dangerous as it ever was.

A glut of climbers has made it worse, and sherpas need to be better trained and compensated.

Good points.

You'd think Oculus Rift would enable a virtual Everest without the real danger.

Summitting Everest has become a sport of privilege and it's important to outfitters to keep the experience exclusive to those who pay for their services.

I so agree with you, Geege. 

It already is a dangerous place, but it seems even more dangerous than it use to be, due to the crowds, and $ involved.  Maybe some regulation is needed by the mountaineering community?