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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Sherpas blaze new trails in Norway

Sherpas from Nepal, known for their mountaineering skills and for guiding hikers up Mt Everest, have been brought to Norway to rebuild a famous trail along a steep mountainside in Bergen. Other summer jobs for the Nepalese trail experts are lining up.

The website for newspaper Bergens Tidende, bt.no, reported this week that nine men from the village of Khunde in Nepal are now working on Bergen’s Stoltzekleiven trail, to again make it safe for hikers. They are unusually strong and skilled men, working in an area where it’s not possible to use motorized equipment.

All were selected by village elders and Norwegian project leader Geirr Vetti to travel to Norway for trail-building projects financed by local townships. In Bergen, the city’s Grønn etat (environmental agency) is paying their wages which, even after taxes are paid, amount to the equivalent of two annual salaries in Nepal every week. The money is sent home to Nepal and distributed among families in accordance with a local council’s decision.

As prayer flags waved in the wind around their workplace, Vetti told bt.no that if all goes as planned, the Nepalese men will also be offered work on other popular mountain trails that need rehabilitation, including those up Galdhøpiggen (Norway’s highest peak) and Glittertind.

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