Nepal is among the poorest countries in the world and currently ranks 149 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index. It is also home to eight of the world’s magnificent 8,000m peaks, including Everest.
It is in the heart of the Nepalese Himalaya that our story began. In 1953, Mount Everest was first climbed by Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, on a British expedition led by Colonel John Hunt. It is recognised that this would have been impossible without the support of the Sherpas.
Two years on, the third highest mountain in the world, Kangchenjunga, also in Nepal, was climbed by George Band and Joe Brown, again a first ascent, and again made possible by the tough, courageous mountain people of Nepal.
Mountaineers of this golden age of Himalayan climbing have always recognised the integral part the local people of Nepal have played in the success of their expeditions and the history of mountaineering in this country, and held them in high regard and with great affection. They have also recognised that many come from a background of abject poverty.
It was Edmund Hillary and his companion George Lowe who first felt compelled to give something back to the Sherpas who had so enriched their lives. Ed started the first Himalayan Trust in 1960 and the two Georges helped set up the UK arm in 1989.
Today, as in the past decades, the mountain people of Nepal continue to support climbers and trekkers in the Himalaya and the need and desire to give something back are still very much alive.
You can make a difference to the valuable work we do in Nepal by donating money or time to help our worthwhile cause