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Prayer, anguish in Nepal as sherpas weigh options

Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 01:35

April 20 - To climb or not --- sherpas ponder whether to move forward with the climbing season as they offer prayers for the 13 people killed on Everest. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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A time for prayer in Katmandu after the deadliest accident ever on Mount Everest. At least 13 sherpas were killed Friday when snow and huge chunks of ice swept down a perilous pass on the mountain. The search is now over for the three sherpa guides still missing. The accident is focusing attention on the risks sherpas take ---- carrying supplies for foreigners eager to climb the world's highest mountain. Overcrowding on Everest, where the number of fatal accidents has risen in recent decades, although it dropped last year. Some think there should be no more expeditions this year -- but that can be a tough choice for people with few options. Sherpas can earn up to $5,000 a year in a country with an average annual income of just $700. SOUNDBITE: CHHRING SHERPA SAYING (Nepali): "Some people want to return. It's a compulsion. The compulsion is mainly for the money because they don't have any other work. They are thinking of continuing. In my opinion, since such a big accident has happened I feel it would be better if this years expeditions are discontinued." The government says it will be up to the sherpas to decide whether or not to continue the season this year.

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Prayer, anguish in Nepal as sherpas weigh options

Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 01:35