I have just returned from a trek to Everest Base Camp with Pack Paddle and Ski. It was an amazing and life-changing experience. For more than thirty years Pack Paddle and Ski has worked with what has become an extended family of Sherpas who have been guides for group after group all over the trekking paths of Nepal. Over these years we have come to know their families, and they have invited us into their houses to share in their lives. We now have one of these family members who desperately needs our help.
On the recent two treks to Everest Base camp with PPS, we were accompanied by three Sherpa Guides who were with us every step of the way. We truly could not have been successful without their knowledge and expertise. They took the huge responsibility of holding our safety in their hands.
One of these three Sherpa guides was Lhakpa. He is the oldest of the three at 56; a father and a grandfather. Lhakpa has spent most of his life guiding in the high mountains of the Himalaya. He has been on Everest many times, and has made it to the summit at least five times. Several years ago he “retired” from going on the expeditions to the summit of Everest and the other highest mountains in the world. Trips to the summit are extremely dangerous and many Sherpa have lost their lives on these expeditions. He is in rare company to have been to the summit five times; as a grandfather he wanted to pass that torch on to his son and the next generation of Sherpa.
The devastating earthquake in April of 2015 changed all of these plans for Lhakpa. His house was badly damaged in the earthquake and it will take a lot of time and money to repair it to its previous state, more than he has. The house has been part of his family for generations, and it is the cornerstone of his life. Lhakpa’s life needs are very basic. He has a farm, grows vegetables and lives very close to the earth. He can sustain himself doing guiding on trekking trips like he did with us, to Everest Base Camp and other treks in the mountain regions of Nepal. He doesn’t need to “tempt the gods” by continuing to go up to, and into, the “death zone” of the 8,000+ meter peaks. However, the costs involved in the major repairs to his house have forced him to change his plans and he is now having to go back on expeditions to the high peaks of the highest mountains in the world.
Many of us who were on these recent treks to Base Camp have gotten to know Lhakpa and have come to deeply admire him. As Rick told me, if we could all aspire to be a bit more like Lhakpa in our lives, the world would be a better place. So, we want to help him get the money he needs to make the repairs to his house without putting his life in further danger by going back up to the summits of the world’s highest mountains.
It is estimated that the repairs will cost about $10,000 for the house to be fully restored.
After everything that Lhakpa has done for so many people in the Pack, Paddle, and Ski family as they experienced the wonders of the world of Nepal, we would like to repay his efforts by helping him raise the money needed for the repairs to his house.
Please help us help him by pitching in for this effort!