About 20,000 Sherpas live in Nepal. Most of them make their home in villages in Khumbu, a region in the shadow of Mount Everest.
Because they spend most their lives between 9,000 and 11,000 feet and are accustomed to the thin atmosphere, the Sherpas were hired to carry supplies and equipment for the first expeditions up Everest.
They soon developed a reputation for strength, endurance, intelligence, and good humor. Today, Sherpas regularly accompany groups up the mountain and are relied upon as guides.