"24 hours on, no-one in the western world seems to be covering the story."
It made the front page of The New York Times, Huffington Post is all over it, and even my local rag, The Seattle Times, had a big piece on it. While you're in the US, you might want to take a peek at the NYT from time to time. It is one of the best, if not the best, newspapers in the world. All that duly noted, yes, the Sherpas are to some degree expendable in the eyes of the guide services, and the people who pay big bucks to stand atop Everest. They are always the ones out front, spending the longest time in harm's way, with precious little to show for it for the risks they take. Still, when their alternatives are considered, a lot of them feel it is worth that risk. They go into it with their eyes wide open and a certain fatalism about the possible outcome. A sad situation. For them and for the sublime mountains that are defiled in the process. My 2 cents.