The traveler who spent a month working as a porter on Mount Everest
(CNN) – It may not be the case when you read of tragic mountain climbers in its infamous landscape, but there is an easy way to climb Everest, and there is a difficult route.
Nate Menninger, a young athlete in Boston, no doubt took the hard way.
Instead of climbing the tallest hill in the world, as many travelers, with the help of a climbing suit, the 26-year-old decided to get a job as one of the first to carry one who was not born in Everest.
This meant being paid $ 15 a day for hauling large packs of up to 220 pounds (100 kilograms) on long, long trails, and meeting fellow carriers in the cold night to rest and share their food.
Along the way, he made a video about his experience, which he hopes will reflect on the never-ending occupation of Everest and how he earns his living in one of the world’s most difficult places.
In 2019, Nate Menninger became one of the first foreign visitors to Mount Everest.
Menninger came up with the idea of becoming a carrier after a long career working as a guide in Nepal, educating himself in Nepal and enjoying the work and lives of the travelers.
Also interested in Everest, but unable to pay tens of thousands of dollars to cover the cost of the permit and the necessary assistance to get to the event, he decided to board for free.
“As I was leading this summer, I saw how homeowners live for the first time,” he tells CNN Travel. “I saw them lying on the floor. I saw how they ate, as well as their strength.
“And I realized that if I rode Everest as a carrier, I wouldn’t pay $ 65,000. I would pay to ride Everest.
“That was the only way I could test the mountain at the age I was.”
Menninger eventually narrowed his initial goal of reaching the top of Everest, in order to prepare a video of his time among the guards on a grueling 11-day journey from downtown Lukla, 9,400 miles above sea level, to Everest Base Camp.
“My goal was to gain the same experience as the guards, no matter what,” he explains. “I wanted to see if I could do a job like this and if I could be as strong as I should be.”
His traumatic experiences are described in an hour-long documentary “The Porter.”
Drivers have to carry packets, called badis, to supply their area with necessities.
The physical and physical limitations of the project are revealed when Menninger was caught fighting with the weight of a packet containing several bags tied together, and attempting to sleep at night in a public transport facility.
As a result of eating rice and lentils, she lost more than 20 pounds on the trip and did not bathe for more than three weeks.
Menninger says he tried to immerse himself in the lives of the guards, but his confession was accepted.
“It’s not true where you see so much there,” he explains. “I tried to get bad things all the time. If the other guards were lying on the floor, I wanted to lie on the floor.
“I just want to be another guy in the room while people do their own thing.”
It was not only his appearance – six meters taller than his Nepalese counterparts – that set him apart. It was also temporary at his new job.
“I had a very different experience from what an average carrier has because I only come for one trip,” he says. “It was just a picture. I don’t really trust money.
“And based on whatever they go through, I’m just experiencing a little bit of excitement and body scratching.”
Each day involves getting up around 7:30 a.m. and going to the customer’s hotel to pick up their bags, before packing the bags and starting the journey.
“One carrier carries two customer bags, and that’s how it works,” he says. “You move very fast. Most of the day, you’re looking down.”
Menninger carried a packet containing several bags attached together.
Babin Dulal / ‘Carrier’
Managers have to pay for their own food and lodging during the trip, and Menninger says some often fail to eat to avoid spoilage.
“If you want to survive, you have to try to save the money you spend on shopping,” he says. “One carrier cuts his portion in half. It costs half to save money.”
In practice, homeowners spend about $ 7 a day buying a house, and the cost goes up the hill.
“In the end your income is more than $ 20, then you are wasting money working,” he says. “That’s why you rely on guidance.”
As the carriers were not picked up until the 11th day, they did not know if the trip was worth the money until they had completed it a little or a little.
Menninger made $ 15 a day for his 11-day trip and he and his fellow passengers, who hail from the suburbs of Base Camp, received $ 100 each.
Menninger is seen struggling with his luggage at the time of the shooting.
Babin Dulal / ‘Carrier’
“Some people speak well, some don’t,” he says. “Here’s a chance to just take this one, whether you’re making $ 500 dollars or $ 50. It just depends on your trip.”
They receive their feedback on the last evening of the trip, but work the 12th day of the “pro bono” to escort passengers to the airport.
“Then the next day, or maybe a few days later you’ll go on another trip,” he adds. “And you can do this five or six times in the season back.”
Since returning to the United States last year, Menninger has been in close contact with carriers who worked with Everest.
He admits he was afraid to show his friends who already had the last video.
“It was very painful,” she says. “I was very worried about what he would say, because it was [showing] their work worldwide. But he said it wasn’t hard enough. “
The foreign-alien partnership should be shared
Menninger’s experience at Everest is documented in the film “The Porter.”
Back in Everest, life is not going well for porters. The Covid-19 epidemic has affected the local mountain climbing industry, which generates $ 300 million in Nepal each year.
The mountaineering companies around Everest were re-evaluated after 2019 was filled with large numbers of people, climbing the line to the summit, on top of the tallest camp at a distance of 26,247 feet.
There were at least 11 people, making it one of the most dangerous weather conditions on Everest, with many people dying from the harsh weather, lack of awareness, and increased trade on travel.
Adding to the problems, says Menninger, is the lack of communication between security guards and their affluent clients.
“The devices talk a little bit, but the carriers don’t really talk to their customers and the customers don’t talk to the users.
“That’s why there is no cultural exchange. Often when you travel, you go somewhere to learn more. Meet other people and exchange ideas.”
He has observed differences between locals and foreigners, and he believes that lack of communication has led to many problems.
“There is this separation between our mountain and their mountain,” he continues.
“Their garbage is our garbage. It’s a dangerous way to do this.”
While he is reluctant to tell potential climbers for good or bad, Menninger wants many to know how much the carriers rely on the money for their meager wages, as well as the number of co-workers at the Everest event.
“The people who live there do everything possible,” he says. “Even if you go don’t have a carrier and just carry your bags.
“Anything you like, a hotel, a restaurant. Everything is carried by the carriers sometimes.
“So whether you are using a carrier or not, you are benefiting from their service. So make sure you talk to your carrier. Find out how much they are making. Ask and be interested.”
Menninger says he was “very humble” by his experience with his caregivers, especially as a wealthy man, and hopes that his film will elevate the entrants to Everest by showcasing his endurance and hard work.
“Even if you go to Everest, you won’t see where your users sleep. This is the first time you’ve seen this.
“I wanted to show that these people were brave, proud and strong and everyone can be proud of any work in the world,” he adds.