Nepal Everest

Pic: AP.

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Top tourism officials in Nepal are on their way to Mount Everest’s base camp to negotiate with Sherpas who want to abandon the climbing season after an avalanche killed 16 of the mountain guides.

Tourism Minister Bhim Acharya and a delegation of others boarded a helicopter bound for base camp, according to his assistant, Prem Gautam.

Friday’s avalanche, Everest’s deadliest ever, has exposed an undercurrent of resentment by Sherpas over their pay, treatment and benefits.

With the entire climbing season thrown into doubt, the government is taking unusually urgent action to avert an all-out strike.

The talks will likely be tricky as the Sherpas have no single leader, and the motivations for their walkout range from honoring the dead to holding out for more benefits.

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