Nepal; Sherpa porters in the Khumbu, 1986. Well-dressed Sherpa porters prepare for a trekking expedition organised for a party of western vacationists. They will guide, bring up the rear, cook and strike camp. Such expeditions pay cash wages far in excess of anything Sherpas could hope to earn elsewhere and such income is invested in loans, cattle, land, tradeable articles and jewellery. Until the influx of mountaineering expeditions following Hillary's Everest climb (1953), western medicine was unknown in the Khumbu. Distribution of mainly analgesic and antibiotic drugs has led to misuse.
- Carole Reeves