Everest Base Camp Mailbag Part 2
This week’s question for Glen Young is from a person wanting to know the cultural makeup of the guide team on our Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek September 19 – October 10, 2015.
Q: “How many Sherpas will be on the expedition?
A (Glen Young):
“how many Sherpas will be on our expedition” is multi-dimensional. Sherpa is an ethnic group in Nepal, and not all mountain tourism workers in the Everest Region are Sherpa. Many are Rai, Gurung, Tamang, or another ethnic group. In fact, a significant number of Nepalis who work on Mt. Everest and adjacent peaks are not Sherpa, and they are equally strong at altitude. However, since Karma Project works in a village that is primarily Sherpa (most villages have several ethnic groups that live in them) most of our staff will be Sherpa. It is possible we will have a couple Rai with us as well depending upon our staffs’ availability.
We will have one support staff for every two people on the trip. So if our group size is eight, we will have four support staff. Usually that does not include our guides, such as Karma. So a group size of eight will have four Nepali support staff, plus Karma (guide) and myself (guide). Support staff are available to help carry extra weight so participants should not have to carry more than 25 lbs. in their packs. Generally support staff take participants’ sleeping bags, extra warm layers, and extra snacks. Participants carry cameras, water, clothing needed for the hike, a personal medical kit, and snacks for the day. It is our responsibility to make sure our support staff are not overloaded, so during the pre-trip equipment check I will make sure participants are not bringing more than they need simply because we have staff to help carry loads.
Glen Young is our lead international guide and the leader for our Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek. In recent years, much of Glen’s travel has been to lead international mountaineering expeditions for his own company, Direct Experience International. In Nepal, Glen has led expeditions of Imja Tse (Island Peak), Pachermo, Labuche East, AmaDablam, and Naya Kanga. He has also guided treks in the Annapurna, Langtang, and Everest Regions of Nepal- including having guided the Everest Base Camp trek twice. Glen is excited to share his appreciation of the local people and culture, his fascination with landscape, his knowledge of natural and cultural history, and his ready sense of humor with participants on our Everest Base Camp trek. The route we follow to Everest Base Camp is well known to Glen. He has not only guided many high elevation treks in Nepal, including this one, but has also guided many of the spectacular peaks we will see along our journey. His knowledge of the natural and cultural history of Nepal, expertise in high altitude travel, and friendship with the Nepali People make him one of the most sought-after guides in the region. Glen’s commitment to the people of Nepal is best evidenced by his involvement with Karma Project, a nonprofit he founded with his friend Karma Geljen Sherpa for the purpose of funding education and medical services in the Everest Region. We’re certain you will appreciate Glen’s kind heart, professional attention to detail, and passion for the Himalayas as much as we do.