Filmmaker Jennifer Peedom brings a documentary film that captures the worst tragedy in the highest peak of the world and will keep the audience glued to their seats till the end. ‘Sherpa‘ a feature documentary tells the story of 2014 Everest expedition from the Sherpa’s point of view.
As many as 16 Sherpas, the native guides of Mt Everest died in an avalanche on 18th April 2014. The film focuses on the dangers and hardships the sherpas endure for every climbing season for the fractions of profits the expeditions and the Nepalese government makes at their expense.
“Getting hot towels and tea in the morning on Mt Everest is one of the most enticing feeling in this world” says Tim Medvetz, a mountaineer who prepares to climb Mt Everest. Praying for a safe ascent while their families anxiously await their returns, Sherpas pay their respect to the guards of the mountains.
Doing anything at this altitude can be risky and deadly but lavish summit expeditions designed to make the climb less extreme are the things that endanger the lives of the climbers and the Sherpas alike.
“I wish I had never climbed the mountain, said my father” says Norbu Tenzing Norgay, son of Tenzing Norgay the first ever Sherpa to climb Mt Everest. He says risks can be reduced if people aren’t carrying special machines, heaters and pads (for the clients to sleep comfortably).
The documentary highlights the inequity in the cultural rift between the Sherpas who see the climb as a pilgrimage and the climbers who see it as a challenge. Despite the dangers, the Sherpas depend on the expedition. each make around $5000 a season whereas their farming counterpart makes $700 a year!
“The share ($70,000-100,000 each climber pays) goes to the businesses and the government” says Norbu Nogay. “But if you go back a number of years, when somebody died on the Everest, every sherpa was able to build a house, send kids to school and build a tea house, whereas these days it barely covers the cost of the funeral” he adds.
“16 people dying at the same time is a huge shock. One of them started to sink in the anger that distinctly pointed at the government, they feel that the government has always benefited of the labors of the Sherpas and never put anything back” says Dawa Steven Sherpa, expedition operator.
To try to get more control over their fate, they have started to by pass the climbing business and start their own expeditions, their goal is to keep their and the climber’s life safe if not comfortable on a mountain they revealed.
-by Vrushali Mahajan
Vrushali is pursuing her graduation in Journalism and is an intern at NewsGram. You can reach the author at twitter- Vrushali Mahajan