Slave Wages on the Trails

The trekking industry exploits the hill porter, little realising that short-term greed invites long-term disaster. A minimum portering wage must be fixed. There should be more, not less, intervention by government in the trekking marketplace.

Thirty years ago, the first of those Westerners to have fallen under the spell of walking in the Himalaya remained behind to organise journeys for others. Among those who stayed back to make a living from providing such a service was Col. Jimmy Roberts, followed a few years later by Mike Cheney. Both men set standards which have been observed since by the better trekking companies.

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Himal Southasian