Recently, a porter died in Pheriche after returning from Gorak Shep near Sagarmatha base camp. As it was before the Himalayan Rescue Association post was open for the season, he was taken in by a lodge where he died in the night. The police charged the lodge-owners Rs 10,000 rupees to take the body away. This extortion seems to have led to many lodge owners throughout the Khumbu refusing to let sick porters stay with them, fearing that they might die and they would be charged that exorbitant sum too. This puts already sick porters at extra risk as lodge owners are often their first place of refuge. We call on the Nepal government to put a stop to this unacceptable behaviour immediately.
Dr Jim Duff,