Sunday, June 26, 2011
Copyright for the article and photographs is Outside Online Magazine. All rights reserved. Photo by Dario Rodriguez
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Every year during spring and autumn more than forty thousand trekkers and climbers descend on the Khumbu region in Nepal. The majority of them come to trek to the Base Camp of Everest and to climb Kala Pattar, the black rock above the Base Camp with it’s splendid 360 degree view of the Khumbu Himal. Others attempt “trekking peaks” like Island Peak and Lobuche East and the most intrepid and determined attempt Everest itself. To keep the lodges running en route and to provide food and shelter to this enormous influx of visitors, porters and yaks are used right throughout the season to ferry loads from the airstrip of Lukla to the base camp. Without this back up team no trek or expedition can be successful. This is an essay on the load bearers of the Khumbu who I admire enormously for carrying huge loads sometimes upto 60 kg, day in and day out for a wage of not more than US 15$ per day.
The flights land at Lukla and then the yaks take over carrying expeditions loads to Base Camp
|Holding his stomach in pain a young boy carries rice and atta on the long walk uphill|
Mobile phones have come to the Khumbu and these two young lads check their messages during a rest stop
|This porter has to go down the Namche steps to Jorsale backwards as the huge load will not allow him to balance down the steps|
The last bridge below Namche Bazar sees large yak caravans crossing every day
A rest stop for the porters near Devoche
It doesnt get any bigger than this!
Oblivious to the "mane wall" next to her, a young girl climbs to Dingboche carrying supplies for a lodge owner
Snow is no deterrent for this porter near the village of Pangboche. The kerosene jerrycan now empty goes on top
Half bent under the crushing loads, two porters start the punishing climb from Dugla to the memorials with Taboche and Cholatse in the background
Almost at journey's end, these yaks are rested at Gorak Shep before the final push to Everest Base Camp