Sherpas have ultimate say on Mount Everest expedition

Alyssa Azar
Alyssa Azar

THE fate of Alyssa Azar's Mount Everest expedition rests in the hands of the Sherpa guides, caught in a political stand-off with the Nepalese government.

The Sherpas issued an ultimatum to the Ministry of Tourism demanding better working conditions after 13 of their own were killed and three presumed dead in last Friday's avalanche.

Glenn Azar spoke to his daughter on Tuesday night and said she and her personal Sherpa were willing to go on with the trek and had continued training in the midst of the tragedy.

"They've been training every day. Alyssa spent the day on Pumori Mountain (7,160m) and went to the high camp which is around the 6,000m mark."

Mr Azar said his daughter would be disappointed if the climb was forced to end but would respect the decision of the guides.

"At the moment, despite misreporting, it looks to be about 50/50. The Sherpas were about to have a meeting and the climbers will follow out of respect. The Sherpas have very strong Buddhists beliefs and many of the climbers follow those. Alyssa does also.

"The government wants it to go ahead; the Sherpas are more about doing what's right.

"Alyssa has taken it all in her stride. She's intent on Everest; it will depend on how long it takes to get the funding again."

Mr Azar said if one of the Sherpas made a decision they would all follow.

His daughter attended a memorial for the dead along with the remaining campers and Sherpa guides at the base camp.

A meeting will be held tonight in Kathmandu to decide the future of the 2014 climbing season.



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