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Sherpas make Norway’s wilds accessible

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Hikers have Sherpas to thank for well-laid mountain trails
Hikers visiting the Norwegian wilds have Sherpas to thank for the increasing number of well-laid mountain trails.
Norway has employed the Nepalese mountaineers because of their unique skills in building paths on steep terrain. This summer alone, they have worked on seven paths in the Sogn og Fjordane country north of Bergen, including some in the Erdalen valley and the Hornelen and Kneipen mountains.
“I think we have laid 200-300 kilometres of footpaths over the course of ten years,” claims the head of the Sherpa team Geirr Vetti.
Originally a team of four, there are now 38 footpath builders. With so many mountainous regions becoming more popular, there is inevitably increased wear and tear on the trails – something the Sherpas can fix. Well-marked trails help protect the surrounding nature.
“I think it has been a positive development, but finding money for paths is not an easy business. We’ve had five good years, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it will be in future,” Vetti says.
Maria Knagenhjelm of the Jostedalsbreen National Park: “I have worked out that Sherpas have put down 4.5 kilometres of paths in the national park. The paths guide traffic and protect the natural areas. A lot of people are hiking now, and places where people walk must be marked out to protect nature.”
NRK / The Local

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