Outside just published a great article on the Sherpa situation in Nepal, well worth a few minutes of your time.

It’s inspiring to hear that the new generation of Sherpas are not just slogging up the mountain for the man, and it’s amazing that they are blazing first ascents on their home turf.  Who knows what’s possible for those guys in the coming years!

A couple of lines in the article really stand out, though, on the business side of the story…

First, it’s unfortunately not surprising that the Sherpa guides make only a fraction of what the Western guides make for an expedition.  Props to the Sherpas for launching their own guide companies; they’ve been the backbone of the industry for ages.

Second, it’s good for the climbing community that these guys are offering more affordable Everest expeditions.  Of course, the foreign guide companies are concerned about crowding, but as long as the Sherpa guides are maintaining the same level of certifications and vetting their clients, it’s a fair game.

We are looking forward to seeing the price barrier drop on Everest expeditions, and honestly we would like to see the skill requirement increased…  So the accident count can go down and the success rate can go up.