This past weekend, I came across a really awesome podcast on Tenzing Norgay. It prompted me to write this blog post. In April of 2014, I was in Kathmandu. An avalanche had hit Mt Everest, killing 12 Sherpa guides. This time the story was different. On my Instagram feeds I was seeing foreign journalists/photographers who had made it to the Himalayan region and worked with the Sherpas – were putting their work for auction to raise funds for the families of the deceased Sherpas. But nobody really seemed to care much in Kathmandu, as is usually the case with Kathmandu. Kathmandu lives in its own bubble. Kathmandu has all the rights to live in its own bubble. What I have an issue with is, its people taking to the streets to claim that Mt Everest is in Nepal. But when Mt Everest needs attention of these very loyal fanatics, nobody seems to care. I remember, Sherpas had protested vehemently at that point, to not to go on any expeditions. As I found out more about the situation, learned that it was even more appalling. Nepali government makes shit tons of money off of Mt Everest, but the people who makes it possible to conquer the mountain, the Sherpas, don’t even get a mere 1% of the profit. So, where do all these funds go?
It’s not cheap to scale Mt Everest. It cost thousands of dollars to a foreigner and just because they are ‘foreigners’ doesn’t mean, thousands of dollars mean nothing to them. It’s their hard earned money too. In the peak season, considering so many of these expeditioners pay such a hefty amount to climb the mountain. A question does beg to be asked; where does all the money go. I hope Nepali government will be transparent enough to share the information and pay the fair amount to those who deserve the most.
Meanwhile, here’s the podcast on Tenzing Norgay. What a shame, it took me all these years to learn about our own Nepali, who had conquered the tallest one in the world. Perhaps the least we could do is listen to his story – not as a favor but because he lived one heck of an adventurous life. May be we could gain a thing or two from Tenzing Norgay’s mountaineering story and learn to conquer our own Mt Everest.
Listen to the Story of Tenzing Norgay, Who Stood on Top of the World @atlasobscura http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/horizon-line-tenzing-norgay
P.S: A huge shout-out to Atlas Obscura for producing such a top notch podcast!