KHUMBU-The name Sherpa has become synonymous all over the world with mountaineering guides, but here in the villages below Mt Everest Pasang Lama Sherpa is better known as someone who has dedicated his life not for fixing ropes on Mt Everest, but for maintaining the walking trails.
Lama Sherpa, known as Lama Seru, Khumjung native is no engineer, had never summited Everest, but he was an unsung hero of the region. For decades as a volunteer, he fixed, maintained, and enlarged the trails. his lifelong work has made the Everest trail safer for thousands of trekkers and villagers below the world’s highest mountain.
If one day you trek from Namche up to Gokyo or Everest Base Camp, you will walk on the trails he made .
In the 1980s, Pasang started working as a porter and endured the poor state of the trails at a time when the tourism industry was just starting.
He quit portering and started maintaining trails with his wife Lakpa Yangji around Dingboche village which is situated at an altitude of 4,410m. Eventually, he rallied a team to widen other paths along the steep slopes to connect villages in Upper Khumbu for the benefit of locals.
He decided to improve the sometimes treacherous paths with his own hands or helped by his wife, Lakpa Yangji. They started working near their home at Dingboche, then moved on to other sections of the valley.
He kept a small desk and a box where he asked for donations from passing trekkers.