Seattle-based Sherpa readies for another Everest climbing season
SEATTLE – Last April, Lakpa Rita, head Sherpa for Seattle-based Alpine Ascents International, was eating lunch at Mount Everest Base Camp with no plans to climb any higher. After becoming the first full-time Sherpa guide for a Western outfitter in 1992, he’d spent the past two decades guiding well-heeled clients to the top of the world. In 2014, though, he’d promised his worry-worn wife that he was done climbing Everest.
Instead, he’d returned to the mountain to manage base camp for Alpine Ascents, and that’s where he was when last year’s massive earthquake triggered an avalanche that roared through the tent city erected on the Khumbu Glacier each spring.
A torrent of snow and debris engulfed the camp.
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