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A Sherpa's View of the Mount Everest Traffic Jam

By ANDREW C. REVKIN
Pemba Janbu Sherpa has been on 16 expeditions and reached Mount Everest’s summit in 2010 and 2011. Last week, he abandoned his only 2012 summit attempt with a client and rescued an American climber instead. Even before reaching the American, Pemba had already rescued others along the way by giving them his spare batteries for headlights, sharing oxygen, and water. And he had watched a Nepali-born Canadian female climber die as he tried to rescue her.
Late last week at the Thamserku Trekking office in Kathmandu, for which he works as a High Altitude Guide, Pemba spoke about the ‘Traffic Jam’ on Everest, the dangers of giving just about anyone a permit, and the risks stubborn clients pose to themselves and others. And how this season is making him reconsider his profession.
Watch the slideshow...

By ANDREW C. REVKIN

Pemba Janbu Sherpa has been on 16 expeditions and reached Mount Everest’s summit in 2010 and 2011. Last week, he abandoned his only 2012 summit attempt with a client and rescued an American climber instead. Even before reaching the American, Pemba had already rescued others along the way by giving them his spare batteries for headlights, sharing oxygen, and water. And he had watched a Nepali-born Canadian female climber die as he tried to rescue her.

sherpaLate last week at the Thamserku Trekking office in Kathmandu, for which he works as a High Altitude Guide, Pemba spoke about the ‘Traffic Jam’ on Everest, the dangers of giving just about anyone a permit, and the risks stubborn clients pose to themselves and others. And how this season is making him reconsider his profession.

Watch the slideshow...

Tagged in: Everest tourism
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