Outdoor

Boston Robust: See one among Mt. Everest's solely American-born porters at work

Climbing Everest is not an easy task for anyone. However, when you're wearing someone else's gear, this is twofold.

Documentary "The Porter" follows the story of Boston-born Nathaniel Menninger – one of the few people born abroad who became porters in Nepal for hikers who climb Everest. Climbing Everest is a huge commitment, not only physically but also financially. The cost of training, permits, guides, equipment, groceries, and insurance can easily run from $ 60,000 to $ 100,000.

Menninger wanted climb to the top of Everest, but he knew that cost was an obstacle. So he signed up to do the hard work as a doorman so he could do the hike for free.

Porters are essentially local guides who transport and carry equipment. They use headbands attached to large baskets or backpacks to carry the loads, which can weigh up to 150 pounds. Pack animals are sometimes used on the way to Everest Base Camp.

Menninger worked as a standard guide for a whole season in Nepal and learned Nepalese. He lived on the wages and rations that all porters received and stayed in porters' quarters, not hotels. He assimilated into the local workforce. He learned the local customs: how to eat, how to find short cuts along the streets, etc.

But above all, Menninger learned the importance of adventure. Watch the 55-minute film Here.

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Mary Murphy

From Mary Murphy

Mary is based in GearJunkie's Denver, CO office. Her outdoor interests range from climbing to landscape photography to pack paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her on top of a fourteenth or at a local bakery.

Topics: backpacking, mountaineering

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