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  Mt  Everest Fantasy Ridge 2006 Expedition: An Honest  Partnership with the Sherpas


Second half of Fantasy Ridge: Crevasses were observed at this altitude but an alpine style will be almost certain the choice of ascent.

Why do Sherpas climb high altitude peaks?  This is not just a philosophical question but a practical one.  And asked, virtually all Sherpas will give approximately the same answer:

“I climb because I must take care of my family.”  --  Apa Sherpa of Thame

“I climb because I have a responsibility to provide for my family.”  --  Dawa Nuru Sherpa

“My family raised potatoes, but farming wasn’t enough to support our family  . . .I was trilled (climbing), but always on my mind was how this would help me support my family and how I could provide them with security and status in our Sherpas’ community to give them a better future.”  --  Ang Rita Sherpa

However expressed, at the core of all their answers is family.   Mountaineering continues to be a good source of income for the Sherpas to provide for the family.  This extraordinary group has always been known for their legendary loyalty, strength and determination.  Sherpas have played a quiet but critical role in almost every achievement connected to modern day Everest expeditions.  They combine amazing knowledge and experience of the mountain with the flexibility and sensitivity to deal with climbers from many cultures.

 They contribute to route finding, fix the climbing routes with ropes, ferry vital supplies for the team, and expose themselves to the risks of high altitude climbing.  For all their positive contributions to the business of climbing, they have paid dearly in the loss of life and limbs, a disproportionate price of personal loss underscored by the meager recognition and relatively small fees for invaluable services.  In fact, some deals are struck only at the end of the climb leaving the Sherpas to take what is given while the climbers go home to bask in the limelight.  

One hears about the many corpses left on Everest.  Without the Sherpas this number would be much, much higher.  Too often history records the climber, but the Sherpas are lucky to be mentioned as a mere footnote, even when theirs has been the ultimate sacrifice. 
The bravery and loyalty of the Sherpas is the skeletal ladder on which alpinists have made their heroic climbs.

Out of respect for the immense contributions of the Sherpas, we are engaging in a partnership with a select group of sherpa climbers who will represent their people.  This partnership will offer the group a voice to be heard by the whole world.  For the first time they will send dispatches of their thoughts and experiences to the rest of the world in their own words without editing or restrictions.   This should serve as an example for future expeditions that the Sherpas have unique physiological qualities and unsurpassed knowledge of the mountain.  But most importantly, the Sherpas have names and feelings and thoughts.

This will be an honest and equal partnership.   By doing this we hope to build a stronger bridge between the alpinists and the Sherpas.   On this expedition Sherpas will not climb and fix ropes for others.  They will climb when their turn arrives, and climbers will rotate as time and needs arise. Their expertise will be put to use in a new way, ascending with mutual respect and equal responsibility.  

This is an expedition to break new paths  --  not just the route to the top of Everest, but a fuller understanding and respect for the Sherpas as gifted partners.
Pathfinder 2006

The expedition is open for sponsorship.  In addition, access to the video/photo documentary will be available in exchange for financial support.  The expedition will report exclusively to EverestNews.com. POTENTIAL SPONSORS:  FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE MEMBERS OF THE TEAM AND DETAILED PLANS FOR THE CLIMB, PLEASE CONTACT EverestNews.com

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