Nepalis demand safeguards a decade after deadly Everest disaster

Ten years ago, the deadliest calamity to ever strike the world’s highest mountain, Everest, left Nepali mountain guide Dawa Tashi Sherpa fighting for his life.

The April 18, 2014 disaster that claimed the lives of sixteen Nepali guides brought attention to the extreme risks they must take in order to fulfill the aspirations of well-off Western clientele.

Few foreign visitors could reach the summit of the intimidating peak without their vital work in carving out climbing routes, repairing ropes, repairing ladders, and carrying heavy goods up the mountain.

Ten years ago, while the Nepali guides were heaving heavy equipment up the hazardous high-altitude Khumbu icefall in the dead of night, a wall of snow barged through them.

Dawa Tashi was thrown roughly 10 meters (33 feet) to the ground by the power of the avalanche, breaking his nose, left shoulder blade, and ribs.

At the age of 22, Dawa Tashi remembered his buddies who passed away. They never found the remains of three of them.

“I was lucky to survive,” he told AFP. “In the hospital, whenever I tried to sleep, they would appear in front of my eyes.”

The catastrophe sparked demonstrations calling for better pay and working conditions for the guides as well as an extraordinary season-long closure.

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