NEPAL: Battle of the Sherpas

Among the mountain climbers who swarm into Nepal each year to see what heights they may surmount, there is one rule of thumb about the hiring of native porters. For climbs under 18,000 ft., the mountaineers usually pick their men from among the 5,000 Sherpa families living in the Nepalese area of Solo Khumbu. But for high-altitude work, the most able Sherpas are those who live in Darjeeling, across the border in India. Most of these men come from families who emigrated from Nepal in 1921 and got their rugged training in the Indian and Tibetan Himalayas before Nepal was...

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