PLEDGE NOW
Sherpas And The Everest Avalanche

A Sherpa boycott on Everest after a deadly avalanche. We’ll look at climbing, culture, life, death and money at the top of the world.

A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP)

A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP)

For hundreds of climbers every year now, summiting Mt. Everest, the world’s tallest peak, is a moment of exquisite glory.  Literally a peak experience.  For hundreds of Sherpas – the locals in Nepal who lug up the gear – it’s a job.  A hard, dangerous job.  Last week, on the way up Mt. Everest, sixteen Sherpas died in a deadly ice fall.  It was a high-altitude catastrophe.  The deadliest day in modern mountaineering.  Now, the whole operation has ground to a halt.  The soul-searching on the mountainside and well beyond is deep.  This hour On Point:  a morality play at the top of the world.  Reconciling Sherpa risk and climber glory on Mt. Everest.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Breashears, mountaineer and founder and executive director of Glacier Works. (@davidbreashears)

Donatella Lorch, freelance reporter and blogger based in Katmandu, Nepal. (@tangledjourneys)

Conrad Anker, professional climber and mountaineer.Director, Khumbu Climbing Center. (@conradanker)

Peter Athans, professional climber and high-altitude mountaineering expert.

From Tom’s Reading List

National Geographic: Injured Sherpas Recall Deadly Avalanche — “Sixteen Sherpas died—all of them behind Kaji—in the deadliest single day in Everest climbing history. Two of the climbers have yet to be recovered from the ice, and the world’s most iconic mountain has again become a symbol of nature’s unforgiving power. ”

Outside Magazine: Everest Season Shutting Down? — “At Everest Base Camp after the disaster, many Sherpas met to discuss how to proceed, deciding that they didn’t want to continue the season after so many friends, colleagues, and relatives were killed. ‘[M]ost of the Sherpa climbers made decision not to climb Everest this year but then there are 1,2 companies who are being selfish  for their business purpose trying to push further more risking their Sherpa life,’ wrote Nyima Tsering, a climbing Sherpa who also runs Cafe 8848, in Namche Bazaar.”

Reuters: Nepal moves to ease tension among Sherpas after Everest disaster – “Nepal’s government decided on Wednesday to send a delegation of officials to the base camp of Mount Everest to cool anger among Sherpas over its response to last week’s deadly ice avalanche in which at least 13 guides were killed. Two Western expedition organisers said tension was running high at the camp among the roughly 400 Sherpas there, with many demanding that all climbs to the 8,850-metre (29,035-foot) summit be abandoned for the rest of the season and others keen to continue.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A deadly shooting on live TV. Wall Street’s roller coaster ride. Biden considers a White House bid. 10 years since Katrina.

Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 27, 2015
Amy Seek's memoir is "God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother"

Open adoption. How one birth mother gave up her child for adoption and stayed in his life.

 
Aug 27, 2015
The slow-going struggle for mental health parity (Getty Images)

Insurance companies are required by law to cover mental health the same as physical health. So why don’t they?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments
 
Do You Recognize Amazon’s Workplace Culture? Tell Us!
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015

Do you recognize the workplace conditions described in a recent New York Times piece on Amazon? We want to hear from you!

More »
5 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: August 14, 2015
Friday, Aug 14, 2015

Butter cows in Iowa, internal site redesign in Boston. It sure feels like a Friday around here.

More »
3 Comments