How Important are Sherpa’s on Mount Everest?

When most people hear the word ‘Sherpa’ they think of somebody who is there to carry bags up and down high altitude mountains like Mount Everest. However, they are so much more than this, and the majority of Sherpa’s in the Everest region actually work as guides for those climbing the mountain, and it is the porters who do the carrying. However, how important are Sherpa’s on Mount Everest? Well, there are several valid points to consider in answer to this question. Basically, in short, they are indeed very important.

Firstly, you need to think about the guiding part of their job. Unless you are in a team, or you are an expert mountaineer, you are going to find it incredibly difficult to climb Mount Everest safely. However, with a Sherpa guide you do not have to worry about this. They are experts in climbing, and their bodies are better equipped to deal with the high altitude conditions and also the harsh winter weather. This is just one of the reasons that prove why Sherpa’s are incredibly important to those who climb Mount Everest.

Sherpa porters are a little different, in that they offer a different service. A Sherpa porter carries some of your equipment, and can also help cook meals for you and other climbers. Commonly, one Sherpa is assigned to one person, although this can be different because sometimes people share the cost of the Sherpa that they hire. A Sherpa porter can be incredibly helpful if you are inexperienced at mountain climbing. The equipment that you will have to carry on your climb is usually very heavy, so having that extra pair of hands can be incredibly important when climbing Mount Everest.

Another good thing about the Sherpa’s is that they can often provide comfort to climbers who are having a hard time. Although very few of them actually speak English, language does not seem to be a barrier when it comes to looking after the climbers. As well as comfort, they can also offer a boost in morale to those who are finding it difficult to want to carry on with the expedition. It can often be hard to get this boost from other climbers, but Sherpa’s are experienced and have made the climb many times before, so they are going to find it a lot easier than the average climber.

All of these things indicate just how important the Sherpa’s actually are when it comes to climbing Mount Everest. Without them, and without a team behind you, the climb would not only be more dangerous, but also, you would probably find it hard to get motivated to want to finish the climb. When this happens, things can get very dangerous. To hire the services of a Sherpa on Mount Everest may be expensive in some cases, but it is definitely worth the extra price that you will have to pay, simply to have the reassurance that there is somebody there who will help you.

Sherpas on Mount Everest ©
Sherpas on Mount Everest ©

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