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Apa Sherpa: After deadly avalanche, ‘leave Everest alone’

Staying off Everest would show respect for ‘‘the men who died and for the mountain.’’

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It is highly likely, he said, that children or grandchildren of men killed in the avalanche will benefit from the foundation’s contributions.

"The Sherpas do all the hard work and they were the only ones taken in this tragedy. They are doing this because they have no education; no other choice to make money," Apa said. "With an education they have a choice. Our goal is to give the younger generation a chance to go to school so they don’t have to climb."

At a glance

How to help: Ski on May 26

Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, in partnership with the Human Outreach Project, is raising money to benefit the 16 families of the Sherpas killed in the recent avalanche on Mount Everest. A portion of the price of every lift ticket sold May 26 will be donated to the families.

Live music and special events will take place on the Snowbird Center Plaza Deck from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Direct donations can be made here to the Human Outreach Project Sherpa Disaster Relief Fund.

Apa’s trips to the top of the world

21. May 11, 2011

20. May 22, 2010

19. May 21, 2009

18. May 22, 2008

17. May 16, 2007

16. May 19, 2006

15. May 31, 2005

14. May 17, 2004

13. May 26, 2003

12. May 16, 2002

11. May 24, 2000

10. May 26, 1999

9. May 20, 1998

8. April 26, 1997

7. May 15, 1995

6. Oct. 10, 1994

5. May 10, 1993

4. Oct. 7, 1992

3. May 12, 1992

2. May 8, 1991

1. May 10, 1990

Source: Apa Sherpa

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Because of his success as a sidar — expedition leader — Apa realized his goal of giving his children options other than climbing to make a living. He was able to pay for his children to attend school first in Thame and then in a private school in Kathmandu. But the school was far away, and Apa rarely saw his kids.

A trip to Utah for the annual mega Outdoor Retailer Convention provided Apa with connections to help his dream come true of being with his children and seeing them educated at the same time.

He moved the family to Utah in winter 2006. They remain Utah residents with strong connections to their Sherpa and Nepali roots.

While Apa believes all expeditions on Everest should pack up and head home to honor the men who died, he says he would not be surprised if some Sherpas end up helping teams that decide to stay and attempt the summit.

"I am not sure what is happening, but I would tell everyone to go home. This is the biggest tragedy we have seen," he said. "This is about respect for the men who died and for the mountain. Still, I know some may help. They will risk their lives for their families."


Twitter: @BrettPrettyman

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