Sherpas Shoulder Heavy Burden Climbing Everest

A relative of one of the Nepalese climbers killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, cries during the funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014. Buddhist monks cremated the remains of Sherpa guides who were buried in the deadliest avalanche ever recorded on Mount Everest, a disaster that has prompted calls for a climbing boycott by Nepal's ethnic Sherpa community. The avalanche killed at least 13 Sherpas. Three other Sherpas remain missing and are presumed dead. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
A relative of one of the Nepalese climbers killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, cries during the funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014. Buddhist monks cremated the remains of Sherpa guides who were buried in the deadliest avalanche ever recorded on Mount Everest, a disaster that has prompted calls for a climbing boycott by Nepal’s ethnic Sherpa community. The avalanche killed at least 13 Sherpas. Three other Sherpas remain missing and are presumed dead. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Sixteen people were killed last week in an avalanche on Mount Everest. The dead were all Sherpas, the Nepali guides who lead climbers attempting to summit the world’s highest peak. Now, many Sherpas have left the mountain, bringing an end to climbing season. Casey Henley teaches in the expeditionary studies program at SUNY-Plattsburg and has guided on Everest. He says Sherpas shoulder a particularly high burden.

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