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Item #: BK5112-8623
SHERPA: STORIES OF LIFE AND DEATH FROM THE FORGOTTEN GUARDIANS OF EVEREST Bashyal & Adhikari 2022 1st UK ed Hardcover New Multiple copies available
By Bashyal, Pradeep & Ankit Babu Adhikari
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London, 2022, 1st UK edition. 321 pages, color photos. Hardcover, dust jacket, New. 

Sherpa: Stories of Life and Death from the Forgotten Guardians of Everest, seeks to shine a light on the people who live, work and survive on the roof of the world. With the focus on the people at the foothills of the Himalayas, rather than the famed peaks, the book traces the stories of the Sherpas who have guarded Sagarmatha – “the goddess of the sky” – going back centuries before the advent of mountaineering as we know it.

According to the authors, the book covers a wide range of issues as well as geographical areas. It talks about climate change and the challenges the Sherpas face. A narrative-driven work of non-fiction, it features “12 chapters of pure storytelling from the Sherpa perspective”.

Changing the narrative of mountaineering books, Sherpa focuses on the people who live and work on the roof of the world.Amid all the foreign adventurers that throng to Nepal to scale the world's highest peaks there exists a small community of mountain people at the foothills of Himalayas. Sherpa tells their story. It's the story of endeavour and survival at the roof of the world. It dives into their culture and tells of their existence at the edge of life and death. Written by Ankit Babu Adhikari - a writer, social science researcher and musician - and Pradeep Bashyal - a journalist with the BBC based in Nepal - Sherpa traces their story pre- and post-mountaineering revolution, their evolution as climbing crusaders with previously unpublished stories from the most notable and incredible Sherpas of the last 50 years.This is the story of the Sherpas.

Every spring and autumn, the two mountaineering seasons in the Himalayas, religious leaders from the community offer prayers to the mountains, seeking their permission to start the climbing season. Teams of elite Sherpas, also known as the “icefall doctors”, clad in their climbing gear, trek up mountains such as Sagarmatha to fix the ropes and ladders that make it easier for their clients to climb the mountains. Other Sherpas carry heavy loads on their back so that the clients can travel light.

This service industry that has developed around mountaineering has ensured a much-needed stream of steady income for the people living in harsh conditions, in a climate where agricultural productivity is severely limited. The Sherpa people, who traditionally relied on barter trade with Tibetans on the other side of the Himalayas, can now run their tourism businesses, ranging from eateries to guesthouses, to earn enough to feed their families throughout the year.

But as the world becomes warmer, the Himalayas, considered the water tower of Asia, are paying the price. The mountains are losing their snow cover at rapid rates, glaciers are thinning, and the threat of glacial lake outburst floods looms large over the entire region.

In June, the Nepal government announced it was preparing to relocate Sagarmatha’s base camp, where tens of thousands of people flock to every year, due to the thinning Khumbu glacier located underneath. This puts the Sherpas, their homeland and their livelihoods at the forefront of climate change.



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