Sherpa Support Fund
In remembrance of the Sherpa guides killed on April 18, 2014 by an avalanche on Mt. Everest.
The Sherpa Support Fund was established by the American Alpine Club to lend aid and support to the families of these fallen climbers and the communities affected by this tragedy.
It has been over a week since 16 Sherpas died in an icefall avalanche on Mt. Everest. Amid the sadness, confusion, and politics, the AAC would like to thank everyone who has contributed to efforts on the ground and from afar to alleviate some of the pain of this tragedy.
The AAC does not normally engage in humanitarian work. However, circumstances last Friday moved us otherwise. Few organizations are focused on the health and welfare of the Sherpa and other ethnic peoples whom many climbers depend on as guides and porters. Our hope stepping in has been to quickly establish a trusted source for funds to be collected and distributed judiciously. So far the Sherpa Support Fund has exceeded our expectations, bringing in over $50,000 from more than 400 generous donors. Thank you.
We intend to keep the Fund open through May 30, 2014 in hopes that we can reach at least $75,000 in gifts to support the needs created by this tragedy.
Now the more difficult work begins. We have fielded many questions about how the funds will be distributed. Over the past week the AAC has been in touch with numerous Sherpas, guide services, foundation executives, Everest experts, environmental advocates, AAC statesmen, and others close to this tragedy. We are in the process of gathering a committee of respected leaders who will help us decide how to distribute the funds fairly and wisely. These leaders will represent many perspectives and limit bias as much as possible. Suggestions for committee members are welcome (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
We believe in connecting people to solve difficult issues on Everest and beyond. In February the AAC hosted the Everest Alliance, which brings disparate groups together to find solutions for managing Everest's ecological, cultural, and environmental issues. And this summer the AAC is hosting Sustainable Summits, a conference on waste management that has an Everest-specific track. We expect these alliances and gatherings not only to improve conditions on the world's highest peak, but also produce templates that help climbers, governments, and land managers steward other heavily trafficked climbing areas.
Thank you again for your generosity. We are all in this together. Please feel free to reach out to us with questions, comments, and concerns.