Today We Bid Our Owner Farewell!
Today is a very exciting day for HD Insurance and our owner Doug, he is on his way to Nepal for the month of January! You might be asking yourself, what could he possibly be doing in Nepal for the entire month? He will be volunteering at the Khumbu Climbing Center in Phortse, Nepal. The Khumbu Climbing Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the safety margin of Nepali climbers and high-altitude workers by encouraging responsible climbing practices in a supportive and community-based program.
This is not the first time Doug has made the trek to the other side of the world. Last year he volunteered at the Khumbu Climbing Center for the first time and he’d already made up his mind before he boarded his flight home that he would be back. In 1992 Doug traveled to Pakistan to climb K2, the second tallest mountain on Earth. The Khumbu Climbing Center is a perfect way for Doug to combine his passions for adventure and helping others.
A Sherpa is a Himalayan who is paid to carry gear, set up ropes and prepare campsites for mountaineers as they climb mountains like Mount Everest, K2, Lhoste, Manaslu or any of the other mountains in the Himalayas. They have been doing this work for as long as people have been climbing these mountains and they’re the best in the world.
So why would the best in the world need training? Even though Sherpas have been working in the mountains for generations, they’ve never been taught how to safely carry out their work. There are preferred knots, tools and procedures that make their workplace, the highest mountains on Earth, a safer place to be.
The Khumbu Climbing Center was founded in 2003 by Jenny Lowe and the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation with the sole goal to help Sherpas. Every time we hear of a major accident or avalanche on Mount Everest or similar peaks, there are many more Sherpa casualties than the mountaineers that are paying them to do the heavy lifting. This didn’t seem right to many mountaineers, but they didn’t know how to address the problem.
Every January volunteers from America, and a growing number from Nepal, travel to Phortse, Nepal, a mountain town less than 20 miles from Mount Everest, to teach local Sherpas the basics of safety that minimize the risks they face. Some of the things they learn are how to read snow and ice conditions to gauge the risk of avalanche, the most effective knots to use when tying themselves into ropes and how to climb in a way that lowers the risk of hurting themselves.
We are very proud to work for someone who is willing to dedicate this kind of time, money and energy to helping other people. He doesn’t just talk the talk of “helping those who help others,” he walks the walk too. We wish him safe travels on his journey to the highest mountains on Earth and we will be updating everyone on our Facebook page while he’s there!
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