Off-Season in the Khumbu
The heavy cloud cover and the relentless rainfall during the monsoon season in Nepal dries out practically all of the tourism and thus the paying work available in the Eastern Himalayas. From late spring until early fall the clouds roll in, spoiling the unique mountain scenery and makes for unpleasant hiking conditions with the slippery, muddy trails and the violent, rushing current of the many streams and rivers through the valleys. In the high mountains there's a tremendous amount of snowfall and the warm temperatures create very dangerous avalanche conditions. In the lowlands the the rain is especially demoralizing, and ravenous leeches roam the land. Most trekkers hold out for the ideal fall and spring seasons for the best hiking.
For the villagers and the strong young men who work as porters there is little revenue to be made through the visiting tourist groups. There are building and maintenance projects to do, as well as keeping the potato fields weeded, but that doesn't keep anyone occupied for long. Many Sherpas from the mountain villages will descend to the big city for other work, and some will travel abroad to find things to do. Pema Dorje Sherpa has been fortunate to make many friends from foreign lands and he's gotten into the habit of leaving Nepal entirely during the summer season to travel and enjoy visiting places all over the world. He has spent summers in New Zealand, Norway, Canada, UK, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and all across the Unites States. This is also the perfect time for him to keep in touch with his friends and prospective clients through letters and emails. During the summer it's much easier for him to get to a computer and keep contacts fresh. Of course when the trekking season starts up again he's very busy and there are a lot of tourists to accommodate back in his homeland.