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AAC Launches Sherpa Support Fund

July 28, 2014

Report to donors: AAC Sherpa Fund

Since the Everest avalanche tragedy on April 18, 2014, over $88,000 has been donated to support the families and communities of the men lost on that day and in the line of duty on Everest in 2014. We have had the opportunity to work closely with other funding organizations to develop a plan that is coordinated and, we hope, effective.

The organizations that have raised funds and have convened to distribute those funds in a coordinated fashion are: the Juniper Fund, the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation, the American Himalayan Foundation and the American Alpine Club. We will also seek to understand what monies have been raised by local Sherpa communities around the United States so that funds can be deployed with a minimum of redundancy.

On May 24, the groups met in Telluride to agree on a strategy.

We know from many sources and from Ang Tshering Sherpa, President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, that short term funding is available for funeral expenses and immediate sustenance. Our plan, therefore, is:

  • To take a long-term approach that will help the families and communities over many years.
  • The families in question include the sixteen lost on April 18 plus three others who died in the line of duty on Everest in the Spring, 2014 season.
  • Year one will begin with a small amount of funding to each family. Local staff will be hired to closely monitor the results and impacts while collecting information on the needs of each family.
  • Direct family support will continue over as many years as the need remains and the funds allow. There will be modifications to the annual awards based on need and efficacy. The duration of the funding may be ten years or longer.

Separately, the American Alpine Club with lobby with the Government of Nepal for better insurance and working conditions for both low and high-altitude porters.

It should also be noted that a small group of concerned individuals (many who represent organizations) who have convened to create improved solutions for the management of Everest in general. The Everest Alliance has met several times and with continue to convene to uncover long term improvements. While there are people in the Everest Alliance from many countries, it is clear that the Alliance needs to be led by people in Nepal for the solutions to be lasting and effective.

Finally, great thanks are due to all of you who have donated money and time to help in the face of this tragedy. Trust that these funds will be spent well and over the length of time necessary to truly serve the needs of the families affected. 

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world’s most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world’s leading climbing library and country’s leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org