A photograph of two Nepali children, one of the two images Cory Richards has available for sale to benefit Sherpas' families and education.

(Photo: Courtesy of Cory Richards)
Boulder photographer and climber Cory Richards is joining with nine other photographers to raise money for the families of the 16 men who died in an avalanche on Mount Everest earlier this month. All of the victims were Sherpas who led groups of climbers--mostly Westerners--up the mountain. 

Richards has shot for National Geographic, Outside Magazine and the New York Times, among others. And he has climbed Everest about a dozen times. On his last expedition, in 2012, a Sherpa named Ang Kaji led the way. Kaji was one of the victims in the recent avalanche. (The spelling of Kaji's name is an aliteration, says Richards, since there is no alphabet in the Sherpas' language.)

The images Richards and the other photographers are selling are available for a brief time for $100.00, with all proceeds going to the Sherpas and to a school some of the climbers set up, called Khumbu Climbing Center. Richards says the school teaches them about how to predict weather on the mountain, and to determine whether climbing on any given day is safe.

Richards says he hopes people will buy the photographs in order to donate money to the cause, but also to have a constant reminder of who the Sherpas are and their situation up on Mt. Everest, risking their lives to support the expeditions of other climbers.