THE SUPERHUMAN MOUNTAINEERS: SHERPA

14 Feb, 2018 Great Nepal Treks


THE SUPERHUMAN MOUNTAINEERS: SHERPA

Who are Sherpas?
Sherpas are the Tibetan ethnic group living in the high altitudes of the Himalayas for generations.  The term Sherpa or Sherwa is derived from the Sherpa language itself with the reference of their origin in northeastern Nepal. Sherpas are found to be lived in the eastern and the northern portion of Nepal. The language they speak is mixed Eastern Tibetan (Khamba) and Lhasa dialogue which also belongs to the southern part of the Tibeto-Burman languages. They are mostly known for their extreme mountaineering skills and for hospitality during your arrival. 
Actually, Sherpas are the indigenous group who migrated from Tibet approximately 600 years ago through Nangpa La pass from Kham region. They firstly settled in Solukhumbu District then migrated to different places getting divided into different clans: Minyagpa, Thami, Sertawa, and Chawa. The reason to get migrated was the conflict that rose in Mahayana Buddhism in 13th and 14th centuries, traveling through U and Tsang before crossing the Himalaya. The Khumbu Sherpa attained autonomy by 1400s within the newly formed Nepali state. In the 1960s the influence on the Sherpa grew from the Nepal Government as the tension rose from China. And in 1976 Khumbu was declared as the national park and became a major economic force for them.

What is their job?
Sherpa has become one of the brands and also the job description in trekking and mountaineering field. Their job is to set up camp, manage the porter, to make ensure of distribution of loads evenly and the group safety. They also co-operate with the clients supporting them along the track and make their meal ready before they arrive at the camp. The Sherpa continuing to the higher altitudes are usually are of the Sherpa's ethnicity and also requires the highly specialized training. We, the Great Nepal Treks and Expedition team, have an experienced Sherpa guide and have been providing quality services to our clients. 

Are all Sherpas a climber?
Not all of the Sherpas are a climber but the thing is money and the compulsion makes the people work.  A Sherpa can earn up to handsome amount during their climb. They do all the risky works like setting up ropes and ladders, ensuring the safety of the clients. They are paid for their extremely climbing skills. Sherpas from Solukhumbu send their kids to Kathmandu for their studies. Meanwhile some opens trekking related business. 

Are there famous Sherpas?
There are some famous Sherpas. 
•    Tenzing Norgay the first person along with Sir Edmund Hillary is known to have reached the summit of Mt. Everest.
•    In 2001Temba Tsheri, the youngest Everest climber at the age of 16 years (holder of the Guinness World Record)
•    In 2003, Sherpas Pemba Dorje and Lhakpa Golu competed to see who could climb Everest from base camp the fastest.
•    May 2003, Dorje reached the summit in 12 hours and 46 minutes.
•    On 11 May 2011, Apa Sherpa successfully reached the summit of Everest for the twenty-first time
•    Pasang Lhamu Sherpa the first Nepali female climber to reach the summit of Everest
•    Chhurim Sherpa (Nepal) summitted Everest twice in May 2012 Guinness World Records recognized her for being the first female Sherpa to summit Everest twice in one climbing season.

How do they adopt even in the extreme conditions?
According to the Genetic studies, Sherpa populating has allele frequencies which is as closest to the sample Tibetan and Han population having the strongest affinity. The research made in London at the World Extreme Medicine Expo, was found that the mitochondria of the Sherpas were found to use the oxygen more efficiently. The team studied the blood vessels under the tongue and other locations in the body in order to determine how well the oxygen reaches to all parts of your body and let you function. It was found that the blood vessel slows down in non-Sherpa volunteers while it remained normal in Sherpas at high altitudes. 
"This higher speed at which the blood can flow around allows you to deliver more oxygen to the tissues more quickly," explained Chris Imray, professor of Vascular and Renal transplant surgery at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, UK, who accompanied Levett on an expedition up Everest in 2007.

What do they eat?
You should feed yourself pretty much to climb those mountains, right?
Dhal Bhat is the food what they eat and the foods that contain carbohydrates in order to prevent the muscle from getting lost and to stay on their feet.