Maybe you have heard of the Himalayan climber who went missing last week after summiting Annapurna 8,091 m (26,545 ft) . I just found out that my friend, Nima Tshering Sherpa was the sherpa that was with him that night. Nima gave the climber his own last oxygen to help him survive. As a result, Nima has sustained a neck injury on the way down, and now has an injured spine, three frozen toes, and no livelihood for his family. There are no reports in the media about his risking his own life to save the life of this climber, and coming out with severe permanent injuries.
It never fails to get me raging with fury, every time, how we remain so efficient at reporting western climbers' injuries and safety, while the sherpas are completely ignored and unaccounted for.
How is it possible that we are still taking the sherpas for granted? After all they risk for us, how can we fail to celebrate, and be indebted to them, for their spirit and their unique strength, and their saving of our lives?
Nima is 29, and has 3 children, aged 3, 9, and 11. Sherpas earn their livelihood for the whole year during the climbing season, April and May, and if this doesn't go well they are left with no means of income for the remainder of the year.
About Marina Cortês:
I am an astronomer and mountaineer, born in Lisbon Portugal, and currently working at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada.
I met Nima Tshering Sherpa on Everest base camp during my Mt. Lhotse expedition in April 2017. (Lhotse, adjacent to Everest, it is the world’s 4th highest mountain). We have been friends ever since and keep in touch regularly on facebook.
Nima reached out to me via facebook from the hospital upon arriving at Kathmandu because of the extent of his injuries, knowing that his loss of income put him and his family in a perilous position.
The funds will be passed in full to Nima Tshering to secure the future of his family (even before this incident, has been living with his wife, elderly mother and 2 children, all in one room with only one bed). Further the funds are to provide education for his children who have never been to school.
The accident and subsequent events, including this fundraiser, have been featured in the leading Himalayan Mountaineering news blog by Alan Arnette; see here for further information about the events that led to the setting up of this fundraiser. Alan says "While there are many heroes in this story, Nima stands out."