Located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas, Mount Everest is the Earth’s highest mountain above sea level. It’s a mountain that attracts many climbers, including professionals.
But that’s the glorious side of Mount Everest. You never hear about the problems the people there face.
This is where this TikTok video comes in. Posted by user @dereckramireztv and then shared by Twitter user @nalisaaa, the 1 minutes 32-second clip shows the other side of Mount Everest. The side that capitalizes on the skills of the Sherpas who work there.
— nalisa alia amin (@nalisaaa) May 26, 2021
“These are the Sherpas of Mount Everest. And as important as they are, their lives are treated as worthless….”
The video goes on to explain how they are the manpower of all expeditions carried out at the mountain and are expert navigators. They assist climbers going through difficult terrain including avalanches and extreme altitudes.
The disappointing part of the video comes next where the visual shows the rubbish left by climbers, which are then cleaned up by the Sherpas.
“Despite having one of the hardest jobs in the world, they are paid very little. A Western guide can earn $50,000 per season, where Sherpas only earn $5,000.”
The casualty rate there is heartbreaking. The video explains that Sherpas death covers 40% of all Everest deaths in the last century. To make it worse, when they pass away, infected families are only offered condolences and minimal compensation from the government.
To foreigners, they may seem like just another worker, but Sherpas also have a life and family aside from climbing the mountain.
Netizens showed their empathy towards the Sherpas, many leaving heartwarming comments.
It’s important for us to think about how there are climbers who are rich enough to travel to the Everest & pay guides, while sherpas labour for them but would never earn enough to have the chance to travel to other countries. That’s one way to understand the core of exploitation.
— Muhyi Din Yaaas Sin (@TehlohSuwi) May 27, 2021
Anything you thought was amazing is in fact horrible and exploitative https://t.co/Jv699dCvOB
— a very tired girl (@EmmTwice) May 28, 2021
it’s so sad how colonizers don’t care about the sherpas and their family that they’re affecting https://t.co/TCgTjOOY6i
— sydney (@itssydneyjael) May 28, 2021
What do you think can be done to make things better for the Sherpas at Everest?
*Cover Image Credits: TikTok @dereckramireztv Unsplash/luo Lei