Mountaineers from the UIAA family raise money for murdered Sherpa
16 Oct 2013
Sherpa climber Sona Sherpa was one of 10 climbers and a local guide murdered on Nanga Parbat (Photo: BMC)
The bidding for the photo was fast and furious and by the time the dust settled Doug Scott had raised 2000 Swiss Francs for the family of Sona Sherpa who was murdered at the base camp of Nanga Parbat in Pakistan.
The photo in question was a fine art print of Dougal Haston which Scott had taken on the summit of Everest and signed by other great climbing greats - Tom Hornbein, Reinhold Messner, Sir Chris Bonington and himself.
The setting for the auction was the gala dinner for the annual General Assembly of the UIAA – International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation that was hosted earlier this month in Pontresina, Switzerland by the Swiss Alpine Club.
Pontus Axelsson from Sweden placed the winning bid and then Austrian, Ossi Worz, stepped up to pay another 2,000 Swiss Francs for a duplicate copy of Scott’s photo. To round off the evening, UIAA Executive Board member Thomas Kähr from Switzerland purchased a fine print of Kusum Kanguru in the Khumbu region of Nepal for 1000 Swiss Francs, making a grand total of 5000 Swiss Francs.
And if that wasn’t enough, Christine Pae of the Korean Mountaineering Foundation said that her federation would sponsor the education of the Sona Sherpa’s older child and Zimba Sherpa of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said they would /pay for the younger child's education.
Bidding was fast and furious for this framed fine print 1975 photo of Dougal Haston on the summit of Mount Everest summit (Photo: Doug Scott)
“I was very grateful that (UIAA) President Frits Vrijlandt allowed me to auction the fine art prints and of course to Pontus for starting the bidding so well,” said Scott afterwards. “We are in the process of deciding exactly how to distribute the money we have already raised in the UK and now this further 5,000 SF to his wife Doma and their two young children. We are in discussions with our Nepali Office and Trustees of CAN to set up a safe and secure trust fund for the family.”
For Scott, the generosity of the assembled mountaineers was encouraging especially as his mission is personal since Sona Sherpa was a popular Sirdar and climbing Sherpa with Scott’s Charity Community Action Nepal (CAN) which helps mountain people to help themselves to raise their standard of living and to strengthen the indigenous, community-based culture.
The charity operates mainly in the Middle Hill Regions of Nepal from where the majority of the porters originate. As Scott said, it is the porters who make it possible for walkers and climbers to enjoy the peaks and passes of Nepal.
Sona Sherpa was among 10 foreign climbers and a local guide who were massacred by about 16 to 20 attackers at the base camp of 8,126 metres high Nanga Parbat (26,660 ft), the world’s ninth tallest peak in June.
The day Sona’s body was returned to Kathmandu the insurance company informed his wife that they could not cover his death since it was as a result of terrorist activity and did not qualify for payment.
In launching the memorial fund for Sona Sherpa, Scott said: “Our hearts go out to his wife and his seven-year-old and two -year-old son.”
“CAN has set up a memorial fund to help Sona's family provide for his young children. He was a loyal and well-liked Sirdar with Community Action Treks and I'm sure many of our trekkers will wish to help support Sona's family as they face their future without him,” said Scott. “We have already received some generous donations, which will be of some comfort to the family.”
The fund will be held and managed directly by Community Action Nepal at the request of Sona's brother Tshiring Dorje Sherpa, who has also led many CAT treks as a Climbing Sirdar. All money sent to the fund will be ring-fenced for the support of Sona's family, with no deductions made for administration costs.
To contribute to the Sona Sherpa Memorial Fund:
CAN Bank Payment Details
The Community Action Nepal bank details are as follows:
Bank - NatWest plc, Carlisle Branch, 92 English Street, Carlisle CA3 8NF
Account Number - 10059695
Sort Code - 60.04.30
BIC - NWBK GB 2L
IBAN - GB89 NWBK 6004 3010 0596 95
All Payments should have a reference – Sona Sherpa’s Memorial Fund