Nepal Plans Sherpa Fund After Deadly Avalanche

After initially offering $413 to each family
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2014 11:18 AM CDT
Nepal Plans Sherpa Fund After Deadly Avalanche
The mother of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, who was killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, cries as she sits behind a tree at the Sherpa Monastery in Katmandu, Nepal, Sunday, April 20, 2014.   (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

After an Everest avalanche killed a reported 16 Sherpas, Nepal officials are coming around to the idea of coughing up some cash. Following two days of meetings with Sherpa representatives, the government says it will establish a relief fund for Sherpas wounded or killed in mountaineering accidents, the New York Times reports. The government will divert a portion of its receipts from Everest climbs to the relief fund. Elderly Sherpa climbers will receive pensions, while children have been promised educational funding, a culture ministry official tells the paper.

Some Sherpas had threatened a strike after the avalanche, which killed 13 (three more are still missing), prompted a government pledge of $413 for each affected family. Following the meetings, the Nepal Mountaineering Association president, Ang Tshering Sherpa, said climbing would be "resumed." But many Sherpas say they won't be participating anymore this season, the AP reports. "It is just impossible for many of us to continue climbing. While there are three of our friends buried in the snow, I can't imagine stepping over them," says one. Hundreds of foreign would-be climbers are thus stuck at base camp, the Guardian notes. For Jon Krakauer's fascinating backstory on the Everest disaster, click here. (More Sherpas stories.)

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