Working with Porters at Mount Everest


Everyone has heard about Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth. But do you know about the thousands of workers who support its visitors? In Nepal alone, countless men and women working as porters carry equipment up mountains, through valleys, and over passes to make life possible in the mountains. These workers create the foundation for tourism at Mount Everest and all around the world. My name is Nathaniel Menninger, and in 2019, I journeyed to Nepal to work as a porter and document the experiences of this community.

What makes this environment special or different?:

Mt. Everest is one of the most incredible places on Earth, but what many don’t know is that it’s only one piece of a huge industry. This industry is known as the trekking and mountaineering industry, and it exists all around the world, from Nepal to Peru and Tanzania. In fact, in Nepal alone, while a few thousand people climb Mt. Everest every year, nearly 100,000 others visit its base camp and trek throughout the country. In almost every case, workers called porters carry equipment, food, luggage for visitors, and anything else that’s needed to make these trips possible. Many believe this job is called a Sherpa, but Sherpa is actually the name of an ethnic group—like a last name people share—and any ethnic group can work as a porter.