There is no question that the shutdown of the climbing and trekking season in Nepal has had a major impact on the economy there. With hundreds of climbers, guides, and support staff out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic, things look rather bleak at the moment. But just like everywhere else in the world, people are coming together to support one another in their time of need. In the case of Nepal, that includes Seven Summit Treks joining forces with the Royal Guard of Bahrain to lend a hand to a number of Sherpas who would normally be employed on Everest at the moment.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic, Bahrainian officials were in discussion with the Seven Summit Treks team about leading a group of climbers to the summit of Everest. Obviously those plans were delayed once the mountain closed down for the season. The two organizations have continued to work together however, with ongoing efforts to support the Sherpas. In the case of the Royal Guard, that has meant providing rice, lentils, cooking oil, sugar, and salt to 151 families living in Nepal. Meanwhile, the SST team has raised 1 million Nepalese rupees (About $8200) to provide cash cash for those same families.
The Royal Guard and Seven Summit Treks are moving forward with their plans to eventually climb Everest together as well. The goal is to get the Bahrainian climbers ready for an expedition to the world’s highest peak by first gaining valuable skills on Lobuche East (6119 m/20,075 ft) and then on Manaslu (8156 m/26,758 ft). If all goes as planned, that should have them ready for Everest next spring when the mountain is expected to be back open for commercial climbing.
I have to give a tip of the hat to the team at Seven Summit Treks. The organization often seems to be at the center of a lot of controversy when it comes to things happening on Everest and in Nepal in general. SST has been named in scandals that have included fake Everest permits and an elaborate scheme to bilk money out of adventure travel insurance companies. Fortunately, this time we get to report something good that they are doing.
You can find more details in this article from The Himalayan News.