In 'Nima,' the dangers for sherpas who help Westerners summit Everest

Hosted by

Mt. Everest after dawn, Mt. Everest Base Camp, Tibet, elevation 5200m. Photo credit: Richard Mortel/CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

Mount Everest is the world’s highest peak at more than 29,000 feet. Climbing it was once reserved for ultra-elite mountaineers. But expeditions have become less expensive and more accessible to novice climbers, and that means dangerous overcrowding on the summit. 

This spring, images of a traffic jam of hundreds of climbers trying to reach the top went viral. The bottleneck resulted in several deaths. 

Sherpas are local guides who help Westerners reach the top and carry their heavy loads. They pay the price -- sometimes with their lives -- of Western exploitation of Everest. 

Journalist Adam Popescu has visited the Himalayas several times, reporting on Everest for the BBC. Now he’s now written a novel, "Nima,"  about a young Sherpa.

The front cover of "Nima."  Photo courtesy of Adam Popescu