On April 18th, 2014 the deadliest event in Mount Everest’s history occurred at the Khumbu Icefall as an avalanche occurred and wiped out twenty-two Sherpas, killing thirteen. Three are still missing and many remained injured. The Sherpas were all carrying tents, oxygen tanks and other supplies and gear for climbers preparing to venture of the infamous mountain.
The event triggered a situation of fear, anguish and resentment, as the surviving Sherpas began quitting in drovers while others are considering a strike.
Anger rose quickly as the Nepal government wanted to compensate families of the dead with $400. The Sherpas of the region were so disappointed and infuriated with the Nepali government’s offer, they are now proposing a ‘work stoppage’ that would cancel over 300 planned expeditions scheduled for the climbing season. The Nepalese government makes over $3 million dollars a year in climbing fees from those looking to climb the largest mountain in the world.
Everest expeditions are a chief source of revenue for not only the government, but for the Sherpas themselves. Many are opposed to the closing of the mountain, as the treks are a main source of income. But demands of the majority angered not only look for immediate relief amounts to be released to those affected, but for doubling the insurance amounts for mountaineering workers, providing additional helicopter rescue staff, and build a memorial park for those lost, among other requests.
A stunt planned by the Discovery Channel, where climb Joby Ogwyn was to jump from the mountain’s peak in a wing suit, was canceled on Sunday. A statement from the Discovery Channel stated they had acted “in light of the overwhelming tragedy at Mount Everest and out of respect for the families of the fallen.” Ogwyn posted to his twitter than they will reschedule the plan to jump for another time and that a charity would be set up to help the families of lost loved ones.