SvN - Day 13 - Sherpas

April 1, 2013

Today it rained for the first time on the trek. This was novel for about 5 minutes before I remembered I live in Manchester and am therefore fairly familiar with water falling from the sky.

As such, there wasn't much to report today during our walk from Kenguima to Monjo. We officially checked out of the national park but the rest of the day was spent trudging along in rain.

Instead, have some facts about Sherpa folk. Sherpa isn't actually a job role as I first thought, it's a full on ethnic group with its own language and culture. A lot of them are porters though and it's safe to say that nearly all porters are Sherpa, which is where the confusion creeps in.

All of the villages we've been walking through are Sherpa villages but at this level they're not very traditional anymore, they've all adapted to serve the trekking industry.

To say that Sherpa guys are well adapted to the altitude is a bit of an understatement. The record from base camp to Everest summit was set by a Sherpa at 8 hours something. Everyone else typically takes three months. The trek we've done, from Lukla to base camp would usually take them 2 days with full packs. They can also carry ridiculously large amounts, with some carrying 100kg up and down the mountain.

The Sherpas with us are also quite adept at cards, we shouldn't have believed them when they said they didn't know how to play hearts.

Our guide has declared that tonight is a Sherpa party. This seems to involve drinking something called Chang and something else called Rakshi both of which are rice based drinks, varying from 5 to 30 percent.