Anger is growing in Nepal as the first funerals are taking place of the 13 sherpas whose bodies were recovered at the weekend following the deadliest avalanche in Mount Everest’s history.
Three other guides are still missing and another three are in intensive care with multiple injuries and blood clots in Kathmandu hospital. The casualties came as sherpas were trying to cut a path and fix ropes for foreign climbers on one of the most dangerous parts of the climb, the Khumbu icefall.
The anger is over the risks sherpas take and the overcrowding on the world’s highest peak. fatal accidents are on the rise along with commercial expeditions; the government issued 334 permits this season, up from last year’s 328.
Sherpas are threatening to strike if compensation and insurance cover are not raised, medical costs are not met, and compensation for victims families is not increased.
Sherpas’ main source of income is from foreign climbers. Many can earn up to 3600 euros a year in a country where average income is around 500 euros.