Safety and Sherpas

This post is on a slightly off topic but in some ways does relate to health and safety. On Friday, April 18th, thirteen Sherpas died in an avalanche on Mount Everest. It was the deadliest incident to happen on Everest. They died trying to earn a living. These people died while helping tourists play at climbing. The paying guests are not climbers, you are only climbing when you are on the sharp end of the rope. Sherpas route find and set up the ropes that the guests follow and use as protection on their trek to the summit. Climbing Everest is an accomplishment but it is an accomplishment of endurance and money. No longer is Everest a climbing accomplishment. 


If there was an industrial incident in Canada that killed thirteen workers the uproar would be huge, and rightly so. I don’t know the answer to the issue of climbing Everest with Sherpa support. Sherpas rely on the money from expeditions. Climbing guides earn a good living and the loss of that income would devastate Sherpa communities. But the death of these people also will devastate their communities. One thing I do know is that no job is worth dying for.


I am a instructional designer and developer specializing in Health and Safety Training, and Technical Training on a variety of subjects.

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