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Dear patrons of The Sherpa Photo Fund,
It is one year ago on April 18th that the most devastating Avalanche in Himalayan history took place on the south side of Everest, claiming the lives of sixteen Sherpa climbers. The Sherpa Photo Fund which allowed you to purchase archival prints from renowned National Geographic photographers, sold nearly 4000 prints and raised nearly $380,000. for the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation after the Avalanche. In the year since, we have distributed $25,000. to HRA’s Everest ER for the vital work they do at Everest base camp each year for the Sherpa community. I traveled to Nepal in June at my own expense to meet with family members, offer condolence and assess need. We distributed $150,000. to The Juniper Fund to be allocated directly to the families of deceased climbers over a period of years. The first allocation took place in October with $3,000. going to each of the families. We reserved $50,000. for an education fund to provide college scholarships for children of deceased climbers. In addition, we allocated $2000. toward the installation of safely grounded power poles in Solu after the tragic death of Chewang Sherpa who survived the Avalanche only to be killed by a lightening strike on the day he arrived at his home in Solu. Another $1000. was allocated to Taksindu Primary School to purchase desks and roof insulation. In October, we partnered with The Mazamas to send a small group of crisis and grief counselors to meet with family and community members who had experienced loss. The group was led by Marina Wynton and their seminars were well received and attended. The Khumbu Climbing Center continued for the 12th year, under the leadership of Steve Mock and Pete Athans. KCC has now provided vital technical mountaineering skills to over 1000 indigenous Nepalese. Special focus this year was given to the ice doctors who set the route each year through the dangerous ice fall. For the 8th year, KCC has an exchange with Denali National Park. Mingma Sherpa will participate in a Denali Patrol with Rangers this summer, then travel to Yosemite and Grand Teton National Parks to work with climbing Rangers there. The KCC building is under continued construction with Nepali stone masons having worked through the winter. The Magic Yeti Libraries continue to serve many remote mountain communities. Thanks again for your patronage which made a vital difference in the lives of mountain people in Nepal.