To increase the safety margin of Nepali climbers and high altitude workers by encouraging responsible climbing practices in a community-based program.
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This image of the iconic Sherpa climber, Nawang Gombu was snapped in 1965 by Gene Sentz. Gene met Nawang at Tengboche Monastery while working on a forestry project for the Peace Corp in the Khumbu region of Nepal. Months later Nawang Gombu, a nephew of Tenzing Norgay became the only man to have reached the summit of Everest twice. His record stood for twenty years.
Our KCC National Park Exchange has been bringing Sherpa and Nepali climbers to Denali, Yosemite and Grand Teton National Parks for 8 years. Now we have added Glacier National Park to the mix. Nepali participants learn valuable skills for mountain and backcountry rescue. In addition, they learn park and visitor management and care of park resources and environment by interning with back country Rangers. Here's a photo of Phunuru Sherpa, currently participating in this program. "This year I had the opportunity to work with Yosemite National Park and Glacier National Park...I learned how the parks work with wilderness and conservation and how to keep the backcountry clean and a safe environment."
Our Sherpa Exchange program with the US National Park Service provides a valuable cultural exchange. And the Yosemite Search and Rescue team's knowledge is invaluable. Thanks to the Rangers and YOSAR members for sharing their expertise. With the skills and knowledge we help spread into the Nepali climbing and guiding community, rescues that would have been unthinkable in the Himalaya a decade ago are now possible.
While monsoon rains pour in the Khumbu, and Phortse village observes the Di, a traditional closed season for work, many Phortsewa travel. Phunuru Sherpa is again in the United States this summer training with the National Park Service. This exchange program is invaluable for our Nepali instructors, and in turn, our students. In 2009, Phunuru worked on Denali with the rescue rangers. This summer, Yosemite Search and Rescue hosted him in the Valley. As our Sherpa Exchange program with the NPS approaches its 10 year anniversary, we are deeply thankful to those in the US and Nepal who share our commitment to professional management and rescue training for Nepali climbers.
Monsoon time can be good training weather... but mostly it is the off season for climbing and trekking. Nepali and Sherpa climbers eager to refine and increase their skills are busy. Several of our instructors are participating in NMA's training camp in Manang, some as students, at least one as an instructor. Looks fun boys and girls! We've partnered with the NMA for many years. Compared to 15 years ago when we started our work, Nepali climbers now have access to several great organizations including the NMA to grow professional skills.
Last night in Phortse this season. The Sherpa people and the flowers and the deer and the mountains and their connections to the big 'ol world are what make this place so special. But this collage of stone and iron and blood and sweat and tears and timber is my charge. And I'm honored to bend my back to it. See you again in the Fall.
Another shot from Sherpani rockstar and mountain guide and KCC Instructor @dawayangzum
The Summer Monsoon is mostly an off season in the mountains of Nepal. Many of our instructors and graduates work around the world this time of year. @dawayangzum is one of several Nepalis guiding on Mt. Rainier this season. With more access to professional training, Sherpa and Nepali climbers are better able to pursue guiding as a year round career.
Dawa is one of our many graduates and former instructors that we are proud to have as part of the KCC family.
Progress this Spring season has been steady. Our crew of Nepali Masons continues to produce phenomenal work.
In April we finished the tall and thin columns of the West Wing, post compressed with tensioned wire rope, and readied for the roof trusses.
Our team of volunteer carpenters, with manpower support of the Masons, raised the roof in April and May. Now that our local crew has completed the East Wing's stone columns, we are planning for an October and November roof raising on the medical clinic and library Wing!
Thanks again to all who support us! We couldn't do it without your generous support.
Our building project is not the only one in Phortse this Spring. The Himalayan Trust is rebuilding Phortse's original Hillary School. @himalayantrustnz
Most of Phortse's residents attended classes in the original school, and are excited to see it rebuilt. It stands beside the current building built by Papa Tony and his Phortse Community Project.
We are proud to be one of the organizations with a long term presence in Phortse and the Khumbu. Earlier this year, we worked with Manang Air and Capt Sherchan Ashish to bring the first material deliveries to town by heli longline. Our project managers met with the Himalayan Trust team back in April, and they too were able to deliver material directly to the village by heli flights.
Horizontally strung prayer flags, or Lung ta, meaning 'wind horse' in Tibetan, are everywhere here in Nepal, sending prayers skyward. Blue flags symbolize sky and space, white the air and wind. Red symbolize fire, green symbolize water, and yellow earth. Lung ta are always in this order. These 'wind horses' carry the Tibetan prayers on their backs to the spiritual realms as they flutter in the wind.
Photo @buildcreative Phortse Thakri Choling Gomba, with the most holy of Khumbu mountains Khumbilla above. Phortse sits on a slope of Luri Go, directly across the Dudh Kosi gorge from Khumbilla. This holy mountain is the protector of the region, sacred, and never climbed.
Dumji in Phortse. After a long Spring of work in the fields, laboring up on Mt Everest, and cutting and stacking stone, Dumji marks the beginning of a slower pace for the summer rainy season.
And oldie but goodie #Repost@khumbuclimbingcenter (@get_repost)
The workmanship of our Nepali masons is nothing short of amazing. Every day their work ethic and dedication to quality set a fine example.
Our team, some Sherpa, and others Magar, have homes and family in several villages of the lower Solukhumbu. They work together with efficiency and much laughter. We are very thankful for their return to the #kccbuilding project after closed season in Phortse.
Your contributions to and support of the ALCF allow us to pay a good wage, provide insurance for each team member, provide quality safety glasses and gloves.... and bring a few new volleyballs each work season. Many thanks.
Did you follow along with @adrianballinger and @coryrichards on during their Everest mission this year? @alpenglowexpeditions is one of the expedition operators that requires their Sherpa and Nepali climbing staff be graduates of the KCC programs. ・・・
Did you miss the #EverestNoFilter one hour special on ESPN2 yesterday? It will air again Saturday July 8 on ABC! We will be posting more details as soon as we know them!
With lots of one inch edges, dead vertical, at 12,500 feet... What grade do you think the climbs will be on the #kccbuilding? ...We are getting some great shots from @tenzing99 in Phortse this week. Monsoon rains have arrived, but our crew is still going. The three giant stone columns that form the East wing are really coming along. Who's gonna get the first ascents? Quite likely some of the Masons!
@pemba_sharwa Island Peak, Khumbu. Everest certainly gets the press, but our Instructors and Graduates have been busy all Spring, guiding throughout the Himalaya.
Every year, a few brave souls come to the Khumbu to run the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon, and this year a 62k Ultra version. Pemba guided a team of these runners beforehand to Island Peak, for fun, challenge, and acclimatization.
Pemba's family donated half the land for our headquarters building in Phortse. In his early 20's, Pemba climbed Everest. He witnessed the deadly Icefall collapse in 2014. Read about his experience of that event, and how it changed him, in the link in our profile.
Hanging here on the North wall of the KCC headquarters is one of the beautiful and informative signs @ryan_walters created for us this year. Thanks Ryan! Our story is one we are proud to share. Help us tell this story. Share our mission with a friend today.
We know it's not the most exciting part of the building process, but we've laid the main wastewater drains from the headquarters building. Two. Separating the black water from gray water is key. We want to be progressive with our mechanical systems, from harvesting rainwater for supply, to separating the 'waste' water for easier reuse in the water scarce community. Thanks @tenzing99 for the pics, and for the wonderful job you do.
Nima Tsering and Tenjin Sherpa, Father and Son on the summit of Mt Everest. Strong men, Phortsewa, Sherpa, Nepali, professionals, both graduates of multiple KCC courses. Congrats! And Nima thanks for your help on the headquarters building.
Our project managers @buildcreative and @tenzing99 have been holding down the fort, or is it the castle?, all Spring in Phortse. We've developed a site plan with curved walls and native trees to make a nice transition from the angles of the headquarters. #Repost@buildcreative (@get_repost)
Working on those curves.
On top of all, @angshimalayanadventures is an excellent photographer. Moonrise over the South Col from Everest Basecamp. A Sherpa team from this @sherpakhangrioutdoor camp, a few days on, would perform perhaps the highest rescue ever, saving the lives of two climbers found unconscious by the South Summit.
Ang Tshering Lama, known to most as Ang dai. A senior KCC Instructor for many years, Ang dai fulfilled his quest to climb Everest this year. Along the journey, he taught first aid courses in Basecamp, helped evacuate a climber to KTM who'd suffered stroke symptoms at Basecamp, and spearheaded the effort to save two climbers from 8600 meters. We are happy to congratulate @angshimalayanadventures on a climb and his service done in great style.
Tenzing Gyalzen on a tour of the KCC headquarters with Phurba Tashi, Gyaljen, and Nima Sona. Climbing legends and KCC supporters. Most of the Phortsewa are just arriving back home after Spring expeditions, and we're all excited to see the West wing nearing structural completion.
Another snap from one of our January 2017 Advanced Course graduates, @temba27 As the last big summit push and descent is underway, our hearts are heavy for the deaths and injuries this year. But, with the huge number of climbers the toll could and would be much higher. Guides like Kami Temba and his teammates, with the skills and motivation to carry out improvised technical rescues from above 8000 meters, have saved many lives this year. Good job men!
As we top out with roof trusses and ridgebeam, trade skills and climbing and rigging skills increasingly overlap. Thanks to @bluelineb for joining us this season.
Inspectors visiting today. All is good.
Much of the KCC headquarter's is currently hiding behind work platforms and under tarps, as the inevitable monsoon rains will come.
Congrats Phurwa T! Our thoughts are with the hundreds of climbers in the midst of their summit push. Wishing safety, fun, and success to all. And then come home and let's party like rockstars! Or is it #icestars
Most visitors to Phortse and the KCC headquarters building are amazed at the scope of our project. "How do you get all this steel and timber here?" A lot of old fashioned manpower! Swipe to see. A charcoal fired forge for toolage. Water levels. Strong Nepalis carrying components you wouldn't believe. Thanks to all who support our quest... a permanent home base for the KCC.