“Mike Cheney showed Nepal the way ahead, connecting the country to the rest of the world at a time when it was not easy to market a new destination, while at the same time making sure that porters got a good deal,” says tourism entrepreneur Karma Sherpa Lama in Kathmandu.
Cheney was vocal about low-paid porters carrying heavy leads during mountaineering and trekking expeditions and worked to raise living standards by setting an example with his Sherpa Cooperative. He made sure that porters were paid higher wages, had proper gear for high altitudes, and were taken care of if they fell sick.
Cheney’s other major contribution was in scouting new trekking routes across Nepal, away from already crowded Everest and Annapurna areas, and improving the trails. Cheney was also a correspondent for several alpine journals and mountaineering magazines in Europe and the United States.
Cheney was an active member of the Himalayan Rescue Association with its clinic in Pheriche, and the Trekking Agents’ Association of Nepal. He was the Local Hon Secretary of the Bombay-based Himalayan Club, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Alpine Club.
Now, his niece Farey is following in his footsteps and is committed to helping Nepali women and children through her store One World Shop in Edinburgh which sells a wide range of handmade crafts, jewelry, textiles, interior furnishings, furniture, toys, clothing, ceramics, handmade paper products, cards, books and foods.