Ever since Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary’s first ascent in 1953, Mount Everest has made its way onto nearly every climber’s bucket list. People from all nations flock to Nepal in hordes to tackle the greatest challenge of their lives. But in light of the peak’s worldwide popularity and the endless line of foreign climbers Everest attracts, it’s easy to forget the community that calls it home.

The Sherpas, natives of Nepal and the Himalayan region, live in the literal shadow of Mount Everest. Without them, most of those famous expeditions wouldn’t have made it past base camp. Sherpas bear the loads of the expeditions and take many of the risks.Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 12.47.33 PM

So Tashi Sherpa, the founder of Sherpa Adventure Gear, asks an important question: where is their recognition, their support? Sherpa names usually don’t make it onto the news or into the trip reports, and they rarely get fair compensation. Sherpa Adventure Gear aims to rewrite that story.

Tashi created Sherpa Adventure Gear in honor of his uncle, who was one of the original Sherpa climbers to accompany Hilary and Norgay. The products that Tashi makes, including jackets, pants, hats and lifestyle clothing, first go to the Sherpas themselves, the best gear testers out there. Tashi also hires the Sherpas (at good pay and working conditions, no less) as the heart of his company and donates a portion of each sale to a special fund for Sherpa education.

This short video on Sherpa Adventure Gear applauds the inspirational Sherpa people and makes a great introduction to Tashi’s revitalizing efforts.