Profits plowed back into school
Updated: 2011-05-10 08:00
By Feng xin (China Daily)
It was in the 1990s that more amateur climbers began to attempt scaling some of the world's most difficult peaks.
Tibet has five peaks that are above 8,000 meters, more than 70 above 7,000 meters and thousands above 6,000 meters. Tibet's three 8,000-meter peaks - Qomolangma, Shisha Pangma and Cho Oyu - see more than 1,000 mountaineers annually, according to the Tibet Mountaineering Association.
It can cost a 10-person expedition team up to 2 million yuan ($307,700) to make it to Qomolangma's top, Nima Tsering, principal of the Tibetan Mountaineering School, says. This includes the hiring of guides and other support services. By contrast, in Europe and the United States, one climber can be charged around 50,000 euro ($76,900) by companies offering mountaineering services, he says.
Noting the growing numbers of adventure seekers, Nima established the Tibet Himalayan Expedition Company in 2001, two years after he founded the school.
The company and the school serve one another. While the former profits from providing professional services to mountaineering teams, most of its profits go to the latter. The money provides students with free tuition and boarding, teachers' and coaches' salaries, as well as all other school supplies.
And when students graduate from the school, their employment at the company is guaranteed.
"What comes out of climbing goes back into climbing," Nima says.
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