Bengaluru, June 1: Expedition to scale Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, turned a nightmare in the last week of May as four people lost their lives while trying to accomplish the risky feat. Another woman climber from Bengal was rescued but her condition was precarious. Another experienced climber from the state, a former Everester, also died while descending from Mount Dhaulagiri. [Missing Indian climbers found dead in Mt Everest]
Has mountaineering become a life-threatening venture? Is there a particular reason for explorers dying while scaling the highest peak? Oneindia spoke to Nima Tshering Sherpa, the 40-year-old convenor of West Bengal Sherpa Cultural Board (WBSCB) and general secretary of All Sherpa Association Darjeeling & Terai Duars, on the issue, over phone.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
Oneindia: What are your thoughts on this frequent occurrences of mishaps on Mount Everest?
Nima Sherpa: It is very difficult to say the exact reason for these accidents. The mountains decide everything in their territory. The weather matters, so do the physical conditions and discipline. If anybody is physically not fit for mountaineering, he or she should not try this hard sport. If you are indisciplined, then also you have a problem.
Many are adamant in climbing the summit and don't listen.
Oneindia: How many sherpas were accompanying this ill-fated team?
Nima Sherpa: There were around three-four of them.
Oneindia: Tell us something about the sherpas. Is the government taking enough care for them?
Nima Sherpa: Yes, it is. The current West Bengal government not only set up the sherpa association in 2015 but also took care of the families of the 17 sherpas who died in an avalanche in 2014. The government has given jobs to members of the families of the deceased.
Oneindia: Are their big enviromental hazards related to the Himalayas/Everest?
Nima Sherpa: Of course there are. And with more and more people queuing up to scale the summit, the challenge is getting even bigger.
Oneindia: What is the ideal time of scaling Mount Everest?
Nima Sherpa: the summit should be scaled in the night only since the weather remains cool.
Oneindia: Are you aiming to expand your organisation throughout the country?
Nima Sherpa: Yes, currently the association is the biggest Sherpa body in Bengal. We look to expand our base at the national level.