“Sherpa does not mean to carry something, it’s an ethnic group, not a job,” begins Aaron Huey. Huey, really needs no introduction, his work with National Geographic speaks for himself. On his latest adventure shooting for the magazine, Huey wanted to explore the life of the Sherpa–the ‘Unsung Heroes of Everest‘.
In this 14-minute long clip, Huey, expounds on his time spent with the Sherpas including some humorous vignettes, thoughtful insights, and a whole bunch of jaw dropping photos.
Some Sherpas have achieved a sort of fame–some have acquired sponsors and hold world records. But, for Huey, the real heroes are the ‘blue collar’ Sherpas. The Sherpas that put their life at risk every time they guide a group of western climbers to the top of Everest for the sole purpose of being able to provide for their families. The photographer explained:
“The death rate for Sherpa’s working in the mountains on these expeditions statistically is higher than the death rate of US soldiers in the Iraq war. A pretty dangerous job, but at the end of the day it’s just about the money. A lot of these guys don’t want to do this job. They do it because there is a river of money running by their villages and the only way to get it is to jump in and follow it all the way to Everest.”
[ via National Geographic ]