brawlin’ with the sherpas

“They’re great people…these Nepalese guides”.  That’s the final quote in this short video…and something I kind of suspected to be true.

If I went into an area of the world and threw my weight around…spent my money and enjoyed the labors of the people who’d been there for years…had an attitude of “here I am…serve me…you work for me now, get to steppin’ “…if I had that sort of attitude, I suspect there might be problems at some point.

Wait a minute…it sounds kind of like my neighborhood…but that’s another story for another time.

These Sherpas seem to be pretty good folk on the whole.  I suspect they put up with a lot.  I think that in a lot of cases with these “western” climbers, the Sherpas are the real athletes of the bunch. They really are unsung heroes.

From what I can gather, the three European climbers, climbing unroped, interfered with preparation work that the Sherpas were doing above Camp 2.  Words were exchanged… and when the European climbers returned to Camp 2 they were met by an angry Sherpa mob.

I don’t know when we “westerners” decided that the world was OUR oyster…but it’s not something that started with Everest.  Wherever we go, our egos go with us…and the attitude that we have the right to enjoy someone else’s world on OUR terms goes with us, too.

Climbing can be a dangerous sport.  It takes a healthy sense of self to do what these climbers do.  You have to have a reasonably well-developed ego to survive.  But when we treat these Sherpas like guides at Disneyworld, there for the attainment of a goal that more and more often can be purchased if you have enough cash, something has gone pretty wrong.

I don’t know these climbers, but I wonder if they didn’t arrive at the mountain with an attitude…and I wonder, too, if they won’t leave with the same sort of attitude.  In their eyes, I bet the climbers see themselves as the real victims..”and then the Sherpas just WENT OFF…FOR NO REASON !! YEA, MAN….THAT’S WHAT I SAID…FOR NO REASON !!!”

You aren’t going to see the Sherpa side of the story, though.  They’re too busy fixing ropes at 22,000 feet so some guy from Chicago can pull himself up and live the dream of summiting Everest.  They don’t have time to complain to the news media that some Westerner picked a fight at high altitude.

The Sherpas have work to do.



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