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The Sherpas of Sagarmatha

A young Dorjee Sherpa was just unloading a quantity of oxygen bottles at the Second Step on Sagarmatha when he received an urgent message on the emergency radio he was carrying. He was informed that a climber who was on the summit was suffering from altitude sickness and needed immediate assistance, or he could die. The caller knew that Dorjee had never been to the summit, but he was the only person close enough to the summit to provide assistance. Dorjee's successful rescue of the sick climber became the origin of a remarkable reputation, which included eleven additional summits of the world's tallest mountain.

Years later, Dorjee's skills as a climber were beginning to decline due to age. The attributes he still maintained in abundance were his leadership skills and his knowledge of the mountain. It was at this time that Dorjee decided to select a young man to whom to pass on his knowledge. After careful consideration, Dorjee selected a Sherpa named Kaji to mentor. Dorjee worked with Kaji for several years, and he was pleased with his progress.

Suddenly tragedy struck Dorjee. His loss was felt by all, but especially by Kaji. Kaji continued to work hard to develop his skills as a form of tribute to his mentor.

--Larry Steed

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