Taking pride in their moments of glory, Sherpa guides pose for snapshots on the summits of Himalayan giants such as Mount Everest (29,035 feet/8,850 meters), Cho Oyu (26,906 feet/8,201 meters), Ama Dablam (22,493 feet/6,812 meters), and Island Peak (20,210 feet/6,160 meters). Clockwise from left: Tenzing Dorjee Sherpa, Sonam Tashi Sherpa, Passang Nuru Sherpa, Phu Tashi Sherpa, Pemba Sherpa and Pensa G Sherpa, Phunuru Sherpa, Tenzing Dorjee Sherpa, Danuru Sherpa, Panuru Sherpa, Pemba Nuru, Sonam Tashi Sherpa, Tenzin Gyaltzen Sherpa, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, Phu Tashi Sherpa, Panuru Sherpa. Photographs courtesy the Sherpas
The mass casualties of last week's avalanche brought home the risks in a way that could not be glossed over the way they previously were when Sherpas died one at a time. The enormity of the death toll mobilized a vocal contingent of the Sherpas who took steps to shut down climbing for the season on Everest and put forward 13 demands calling for, among other things, more insurance for mountain workers, bigger payments for families that lost relatives and for workers who were disabled, and a portion of permit fees to be set aside for a relief fund.