Mountaineer George Mallory is possibly best remembered for his response to the question “why did you want to climb mount Everest?”. His “Because it’s there” reply has since become “the most famous three words in mountaineering”.
As the pursuit of mountaineering and expeditions have evolved from Mallory’s time to the modern day, the Himalayas have finally become a mainstay of commercial mountaineering and become a staple for adventurers worldwide.
Many Westerners have shown their talent for climbing both on the mountains and in their writing. Although the Nepalese Sherpas are known worldwide for their mountaineering and climbing prowess their exploits have gone largely undocumented. As time has passed, new generations of Nepalese have desired to share with the world the Himalayas from the viewpoint of those who have called these mountains home for centuries and that time is now.
The book “Base Camp” by Nabraj Ghimire offers a real-world look at the day-to-day diary of a mountaineering client and sherpas to blend both perspectives to give an accurate look at the experience from multiple viewpoints. The book is a wonderful fictional blend of local Nepalese history and culture blended with the sense of awe experienced by foreigners experiencing the intimidating Khumbu Region of the Himalayas.
The book highlights the life-endangering sacrifices made by the Sherpas who have called Khumbu home for generations in order to put food on the table for their families. The story evolves from the Sherpa cultural perspective regarding Everest to encompass the realities of the modern-day mountaineering environment.
“Base Camp” provides a refreshing insight to those interested in everything from the mountain tourism industry of Nepal to those interested in the history and perspective of the sherpa people. This book is a must-read for those traveling to Nepal, students, researchers, and mountaineering enthusiasts everywhere.