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Porter dies upon return from Everest base camp
17:21 p.m. EDT May 19, 2003
On Sunday, Narayan Margar died in Lobuche, most likely from altitude related illness. He was a porter returning from Everest base camp where he delivered to the Base Camp Medical clinic and to an expedition. Dr. Luanne Freer from the Base Camp Clinic reports that Narayan showed no signs of feeling ill in base camp, where he had both dinner and breakfast with the clinic staff before his departure. Narayan had also been in base camp just 10 days earlier.

He had worked for Hari Dharel and Highlander Trekking for 9 years. He was a hard-working and honest person who is survived by a wife and children. After leaving base camp he began having problems walking in Gorak Shep, where trekkers helped him down to Lobuche. It was there he died the next morning. Upon notification of the death, Highlander Trekking immediately paid 3000 USD for a helicopter to bring the body back to Kathamandu and has already established a trust to help provide for the Narayan’s family.

There is often confusion between porters and Sherpas. Porters are often of Nepali descent and do not have the same genetic pre-disposition as Sherpas do for altitude. It is not unusual to see a 100 lbs, 15 year-old porter carrying a 60 lbs load to base camp wearing only flip-flops. Their job carrying goods from village to village or hauling firewood is not as glamorous as the Sherpas who carry gear on 8000 meter mountains. As a result these porters typically do not receive the recognition they truly deserve, which is often given to the Sherpas by trekkers, climbers, and media.

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