Printed on: April 22, 2014

Sherpas threaten to boycott in Nepal


KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- Buddhist monks cremated the remains of Sherpa guides who were buried in the deadliest avalanche to hit Mount Everest, a disaster that has prompted calls for a climbing boycott by Nepal's ethnic Sherpa community.

Nepal's government said late Monday it would consider the Sherpa's demands for more insurance money, more financial aid for the families of the victims, the formation of a relief fund and regulations that would ensure climbers' rights. A committee formed with guides, rescuers and others will make its recommendations Tuesday, said Maddhu Sudan Burlakoti, head of the mountaineering department.

A total Sherpa boycott could critically disrupt the Everest climbing season, which is key to the livelihood of thousands of Nepali guides and porters. Everest climbers have long relied on Sherpas for everything from hauling gear to cooking food to high-altitude guiding.

At least 13 Sherpas were killed when a block of ice tore loose from the mountain and triggered a cascade that ripped through teams of guides hauling gear. Three Sherpas missing in Friday's avalanche are presumed dead.

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Nepal's capital, Katmandu, on Monday as the bodies of six of the victims were driven in open trucks decorated with Buddhist flags.