Saturday, May 28, 2022
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Sherpas, Life in Escalation

Sherpas, Life in Escalation

Kathmandu, (Prensa Latina) Alpinists from around the world travel to Nepal in the spring of each year in the hope of conquering Mount Everest. But before arriving in Kathmandu, the capital of the small country that shares the famous Himalayan peak with China, hundreds of yaks, guides and Sherpas are already at base camp to prepare for the new climbing season.
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Known for their physical strength at the great heights of the so called ‘roof of the world,’ members of this ethnic group, also called sharwa, are key to expeditions to the 8,848.86-meter peak.

Perhaps the most famous among them is the guide Tenzing Norgay, who together with New Zealander Edmund Hillary were the first two human beings to conquer the peak of Everest, on May 29, 1953.

However, Nepal’s Kami Rita Sherpa obtained a new world record achieving his goal this year climbing the world’s highest mountain 25 times.

The Sherpas’ healthy lifestyle and breathing capacity on high peaks, where there is a shortage of oxygen to sustain life, surprises scientists, as they seem to carry in their genes the ability to survive using the precious gas more efficiently than people living elsewhere.

Throughout history, they have preserved their traditional customs, growing most of their food, such as potatoes and raising yaks, which provide wool for clothing, leather for shoes, and fertilizer, milk, butter and cheese.

To assist the climbers, the Sherpas transport everything from salt and sugar to rice and meat, and also manage the cooking fuel, gas cylinders and stoves, ovens, tables and chairs, tents, mattresses, oxygen cylinders and ropes.

They also set up tents, communication devices, solar panels, generators and batteries. In short, that is needed for an Everest expedition.

They carry loads of 25 to 30 kilograms and sometimes more, moving mostly uphill trails in extremely hard weather with snow and wind and check the entire route of the trek on a daily basis.

(Taken from Orbe)


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