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The Sherpa of Everest

The religion of these people are that of Buddhism and they believe there are many Gods and Demons which live high in the mountains which must be worshiped or they will be punished.

Since the beginning of the treks up Mount Everest the Sherpa people have played a very important role. These people live high in the mountains and are used to the bitter cold. Their tasks are well achieved on any climb and have amazed those who have journeyed beside them.

No one knows how they can climb without effects of altitude sickness and brave the cold with sleeping outside with only rocks as their shelter.

The Sherpa of Everest believe that the mountain is a holy place and make offerings to the Gods before any journey to the top. They pray these offering will protect them throughout the climb.In the early 1920’s these people was recognized for their strength and hard working talents. In the beginning they were used as porters but quickly graduated to the guides to the top. These Sherpa were given the tiger which gave them a higher pay and  a more honorable prestige.

Legendary George Mallory commented that the most powerful he learned on his journey to Everest was the Sherpa. They carried heavy loads to over 25 thousand feet and could do it all over again within a three day time frame. They showed little fatigue with high endurance. The Sherpa and the way they are made high camp possible on Everest today.

Many have died on the mountain but they remain high spirited and continue to make the climb. The revenues from the mountain is their main source of income today.

The Sherpa have made many themselves on Everest, in 1953 being the first to reach the summit and planting the flag for that famous photo. They were also the ones who made it possible for the first American group to reach the top of the world. With their strength and abilities they have also recovered many climbers who have not been able to make the descent on their own and actually have carried them down the mountain.

In recent years these wondrous people have accomplished many things none of us would even consider. Ang Rits Sherpa reached the summit 10 times without any oxygen, and  Babu Chiri Sherpa spent 20 hours on the summit which is unheard of.  Babu also raced to the top at record breaking speeds setting the record at 16 hours and 56 minutes. This Sherpa also made the trek to the top twice in a 2 week period of time. All that this man accomplished on Everest he donated to the education of the Sherpa children.

The Sherpa are remarkable people and are very interesting to study and learn about. I have longed to visit them in Nepal not on an expedition up the mountain of Everest but to their every day lives in the Himalayans.


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