Sherpa (Sher mean “East” and “Pa” mean people) are the people who migrated from the Tibetan province of Kham to the uninhabited SoluKhumbu region in the northeast corner of Nepal around in the 16th century because of warfare. So, Sherpa are also known as eastern people. At that time, there was much more forest and wood for fuel than exists today. That, along with the ability to grow wheat and buckwheat, provided the foundation for the first Sherpa inhabitants. During that time, Sherpa’s crossed the Tibetan border to trade crops. In 1880, the introduction of the potato to the region revolutionized agriculture, giving Sherpa’s another staple crop that they rely on even today. But aside from farming, the only other way to make money was as a tax collector.
For that reason, the British colonization of India and the subsequent construction projects it sparked lured many Sherpa men. Darjeeling, across the eastern border of Nepal in India became a popular draw for seasonal employment for Sherpa’s since. It was developing into a resort area for British military and political officials. This British presence would soon kick off the evolution of the Sherpa mountaineering profession.
Everest was confirmed as the highest point in the world in 1865, but it took years of diplomatic negotiations for Westerners to get a crack at conquering it. Following the colonization of India, in the early 20th century, British expeditions to Mount Everest began. But because Nepal was closed off to foreigners until 1949, the climbs were routed through Tibet.
Soon, the Nepalese Sherpa’s who worked in Darjeeling became the desired guides and porters on the treks. Most credit the English man Alexander Kellas as the first person to advertise the Sherpa’s' superiority on Everest. Kellas reported that they were not only physically strong and nimble on the trails but also possessed a friendly demeanor and cheerful attitude.
The opening of Nepal's borders in 1949 and the successful climb of New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 ignited a tourist rush into the Solu-Khumbu region. The Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1950 also effectively cut off trade with Tibet, turning more Sherpas' focus to the economic prospects of mountaineering.
As you can see throughout the Sherpa history, the mountains have constantly played an integral role. Read on for a closer look at the Sherpa’s relationship with Mount Everest and how the mountaineering profession has impacted them as a people. Sherpa is an ethnic group of people and sometime you hear Sherpa a post given to the people on camping trek but his/her duty is to fix tent and look after their guest to make their holiday dream successful.
Today most of the Sherpas are involve in the tourism industry as an entrepreneurs. Most of the Sherpa’s are running tourist lodge in the Khumbu region and some are involve in the social service as well. Tenzing Norgay Shepra, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, Apa Sherpa, Kami Rita Sherpa, Ang Rita Shepra, Lakpa Gelu Sherpa, Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa, etc are the famous Sherpa’s who deserve to be honored for their climbing achievements.