Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 1, 2014 at 6:03 AM

Everest: Create higher payouts for Sherpas killed while working

The article about local charity efforts to raise funds to benefit the families of 16 Sherpas killed in an Everest climbing accident exposes troubling attitudes about the value of Nepali lives [“Many here work to help families of Sherpas killed on Everest,” Local News, April 24].

Currently, the mandatory life insurance payout for each Sherpa killed while working for for-profit expeditions on the mountain is $11,000. One person quoted in the article who is raising charity funds said that amount should be raised to $22,000, stating, “It’s a really complicated situation.”

I don’t think it’s so complicated.

The Everest expeditions are for-profit recreational ventures run for high-income people from other countries. Each Sherpa guide earns about $5,000 per year. Once they’ve been killed by their job, their families lose that $5,000 per year.

Let’s assume, to make up for that ridiculous disregard of a dad’s other economic value to the family as well as the incalculable emotional loss, that each guide would have a 30 year work-earnings span. The insurance payout when the is killed on the mountain should be at least $150,000. If the recreational ventures that operate on Everest can’t afford to provide proper minimal life insurance for the human beings they employ, they should shut down.

That’s not too complicated, is it?

Kelly Owen, Bellingham

Comments | More in Climbing | Topics: climbing, Everest, insurance

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►