It has been sixty long years since the human being stepped onto Mount Everest for the first time in the history of mankind, still the fascination of scaling up this greatest mountain haven’t dim even by minute degree! People are still willing to conquer this incredible creation of the nature despite of several accidents that took place during the numerous expeditions claiming thousands of lives. Call it as an act of valor or a sheer madness, the number of climbing enthusiasts is surging outrageously & we see none but one possible reason why people are willing to scale Mt. Everest is – ‘Because it’s there’!
The recent major accident on the way to the Mt. Everest was the deadliest one in its history which claimed around 16 lives, mainly of Sherpas. The avalanche that hit the flock of the climbers wasn’t the first in its history & probably is not going to be the last either. Questions are raised on the high altitude mountaineering, every time the bad weather & treacherous glaciers that are frequent in this part of the world, causes the massacre.
However the key reason why Nepal does not mind the accidental deaths of several climbers lies in the exorbitant revenue that they generate every year. In the climbing season that begins every year in the summers from the month of April, the stretch that leads to this humongous mountain gets heavily crowded with innumerable trekkers & mountaineers willing to scale the mountain with the patronage from experienced porters & Sherpas. The entire boulevard sees the myriad Teahouses that offer breakfast & bed facilities getting lined up along both the edges. Apart from offering breakfast, these small stores also act as excellent places for buying used mountaineering tools & other useful gears left behind by earlier climbers!
Over the years, more than 4000 climbers have successfully achieved the feat & several other have lost their lives while attempting the same task. In every expedition, the assistance of the Sherpas played the decisive role in scaling the Everest. Sherpa Tenzing Norgay being the father of the glorious dynasty of these hardworking Sherpas, surprisingly they are the one who are worst affected from these incredibly dangerous expeditions.
As Sherpas do not have anything to do apart from playing role of guides & porters in all the expeditions in order to arrange their bread & butter, they eagerly wait for the climbing season. Their seasonal earning of around $8000 may seems to be scintillating but considering the facts that they are the only earning persons in their family & the off-season of Everest expeditions keep them unemployed, the same earning would look much sober! Moreover, being part of one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, family of Sherpas often find themselves living on an edge. It is estimated that the number of Sherpas deceased on Everest expeditions easily surpasses the number of US military men who have died in the Iraq warfare within the same span of last three years. On top of that, countless others have got disabled or seriously injured during deadly accidents & hemorrhaging in high altitude.
Nepal government is making around $370 million profit every year from the commercial climbing; however, Sherpas receive the smallest share of the wealth & facilities despite of taking maximum risks & efforts in the success of every climb. The Insurance cover & after death compensation offered by the government are often proved to be well short of actual requirements. A pack of Sherpas did try to protest the unlawful & rude behavior of the officials as Sherpas are left perched from receiving their share in the exorbitant fees the government receives for issuing climbing permits. Yet, the Sherpas are still in awful condition as they are at the very end of the chain of share receivers!
Despite of several issues, Mount Everest is still attracting all the climbers with the same force & human being is ready to cross any physical limitations to sight the world from the Earth’s third pole! The recent massacre might have temporarily suspended the expeditions, but climbers will definitely flock the base with the same vigor in the next climbing season with the burning desire to march upon this mountain defying all the challenges & obstacles that the nature throws at them! Whatever be the case, we will never refrain ourselves from fighting against odds with all our strength in order to win the battle of Mt. Everest climbing!