The Sherpas: Guides to the Peak of Mt. Everest


Many remember the names of those who reached the peaks of the Himalayas but few know of the Sherpa—the guides that helped the trekkers along the way.

Known for their skill in mountain-climbing and withstanding low oxygen levels in high altitudes, the Sherpa are highly sought-out individuals amongst those wishing to trek the Himalayan slopes.

Originating from Tibet, the Sherpa are just one of the 50 minority groups living in Nepal and most earn a living as mountaineers.

Although many backpackers receive help from the Sherpa—who sometimes even offer to carry travelers’ luggage, once the destination has been reached, the guides are long forgotten.

In 2014, 16 guides atop Mt. Everest were buried alive in a deadly avalanche. Most were Sherpas. Despite this being a great devastation to the Sherpa community, the Nepalese government did not support the Sherpas in any significant way. To protest against the apathetic government, other Sherpa mountaineers decided not to work on Mount Everest for the remainder of that year.

For all the service they provide, the Sherpa themselves live in poor conditions and children in this community do not have access to quality education. Nevertheless, Sherpa culture remains vibrant as ever as the images display the peoples’ brilliant New Year’s festivities.

The New Year’s festival goes for around 15 days during which Sherpa families clean-out their homes to welcome a new start. Debts are repaid to begin afresh and streets are filled with joyous Sherpa laughter.



Seo Eui-mi, Intern Reporter, The AsiaN

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