The Current

Mt. Everest guide calls for better working conditions for Sherpas

Last April an avalanche killed 16 Sherpas climbing Mount Everest. No one has been up the mountain since. Now the Nepal government has altered the climbing route in the hopes of making it safer. But many Sherpas worry the climb up Everest is still much more dangerous than it needs to be.
A Sherpa carries mattresses back from Everest base camp, approximately 5,300 meters above sea level, in Solukhumbu District. More than 4,000 climbers have reached the summit of Everest, the world's highest peak, since it was first scaled by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953. (REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

"When my father and Hillary climbed Mt. Everest that was as close to the moon as anybody had been." -- Norbu Tenzing, son of Tenzing Norquay who first climbed Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953

Last April, an avalanche struck the Khumbu Icefall on Mount Everest, right in the middle of climbing season. It hit with such force that it killed 16 Sherpas. Climbing stopped for the season after that.

Since then, there has been an on-going discussion about what can and should be done to make the climbs safer for everyone involved, but especially for the Sherpas.

The government of Nepal has now announced a new route to the summit ... one they say will make it safer. But many Sherpas are still worried.

Pasang Lhamu Sherpa is one of the few Nepalese women who works as a mountaineering guide and climbing instructor. She has climbed Everest and she was on the mountain on the day of the avalanche last April.

Norbu Tenzing is the Vice President of the American Himalayan Foundation. If his name sounds familiar that's because he is the son of Tenzing Norquay who first climbed Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Ines Colabrese