Ang Tshering Sherpa

Ang Tshering Sherpa
Ang Tshering Sherpa

My name is Ang Tshering Sherpa and I was born on 15 November 1953 in a picturesque Himalayan village of Khumjung (3790m) in the Solu-Khumbu district.  It is one of the famous Sherpa villages on the way to Mt Everest.

I spent most of my childhood in Khumjung as a pupil of Sir Edmund Hillary’s first school, and consequently I was fortunate enough to be the one of the first batch of graduates. I also studied Buddhist scripture with my grandparents at the Tengboche monastery.

It has been more than 35 years that I have been working in the mountain tourism sector.  Twenty-five years ago, in 1982, I established Asian Trekking Pty. Ltd, which organizes trekking and tour packages, mountain expeditions in the Himalayas, including Everest, and other activities related t mountain tourism.

Over the years, Asian Trekking has grown into one of the biggest operators in Nepal and Tibet. We are also the general sales agent of China-Tibet Mountaineering Association. Besides being the Chairman of Asian Trekking, I am also the president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, as well as the Honorary Consul of Belgium to Nepal.

Retreating glaciers

My personal and professional experiences have been witness to vast changes in mountain areas, especially in Everest region. Most noticeable in my lifetime has been that glaciers are rapidly retreating and new glacial lakes have formed where there was only ice and snow before.

When I was a child, I could easily cross the Ngusumba Glacier near Mt. Cho Oyu with our herd of yak.  Today, the glacier has been transformed into innumerable small lakes. We also used to cross Lho La pass (6026m), situated on the western ridge of Mt Everest, on our way to trade in Tibet. Today, all that remains of this huge ramp of ice and snow are precariousceracs clawing desperately to the top of rocky cliffs. In both cases it is no longer possible to use this historic route.

Over the years, I have seen new glacial lakes form, and their size has increased dangerously. Before 1960, Imja Lake (5000m) did not even exist. It first appeared in 1962 as a small pond. Now, the lake is almost 1.6-kilometres long and could burst at any moment.

On 4 August 1985, another glacial lake, called Dikcho Lake (4365m), burst resulting in huge loss of live, property and infrastructure. Imja Lake is twice the size of Dikcho Lake and is located upstream of the famous Everest trail which takes people the highest mountain in the world. If we allow Imja Lake to burst it would be the most shameful example of our ignorance to our rapidly changing world.

A similar trend is seen on the Ngusumba Glacier and others throughout the Himalayan region. These small lakes will eventually follow Imja Lake’s example and grow into dangerously big lakes. I dread thinking about the calamities and human loss when these lakes burst.

Changing weather

Besides potential glacial lake outburst floods, our mountaineering profession is also facing problems due to unpredictable weather condition. Just over a decade ago, the appropriate climbing season for mountaineering used to be September, October and November. Today, it has shifted to late May and is shifting later and later into the summer. The weather has become unreliable — it snows when it is time to rain, and rains when it should snow. Because of this, there has been increase in the rate of accidents during mountaineering expeditions.

Another danger to our profession is the rapid rate at which snow melts. Only a few years ago, it used to take about two months to melt a foot of snow, whereas nowadays it takes only a couple of weeks to melt twice as much snow. This phenomenon is very obvious when we set up our camps. We constantly find ourselves adjusting and relocating our camp sites as the snow around our tents melt. Another threat we find at camp sites are the huge boulders scattered on the glaciers which over a few weeks find themselves raised on icy platforms, ready to tumble down on to the tents below.

I don’t think local pollution and tourism is the cause for this trend. I think it is because of global warming.

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Wedding on top of Mount Everest

A Nepalese couple have exchanged wedding vows on top of Mount Everest, the first people ever to marry there.

They briefly took off their oxygen masks and put on plastic garlands, while the groom symbolically applied red powder on the bride’s forehead.

Moni Mule Pati and Pem Dorjee Sherpa were part of the Rotary Centennial Everest Expedition earlier this week.They had kept the plan secret as there was no guarantee they would reach the top of the world’s highest peak.

Arriving back in Kathmandu, the bride said it would not have been possible to meet all the religious requirements, so they did what they could with what was available.

The couple stayed on the peak for a mere 10 minutes which gave enough time for the ceremony and for friends to take photos.

Other climbers were “very surprised, they are really shocked” Ms Mulepati told the BBC’s Newshour programmer.

They plan to hold a more formal ceremony soon.

Interracial marriage

Mr Dorjee said other couples had wanted to do the same in the past, but none had managed because they could not get up on top of the peak together.

Fearing the same possibility, they had kept their own plan secret.

The surprised families have welcomed the marriage, which is also unusual because it cuts across Nepal’s deep-rooted caste and ethnic divisions.

“If some people are loving each other they have to get married,” Pem Dorjee told the BBC. “That’s why we want to give all Nepali people [the message] that people are people so there’s no problem about caste.”

One Nepalese paper joked that this was a marriage which, if not made in heaven, was solemnised closest to it.

The Marriage took place on the May 30, 2005

Source Via BBC NEWS

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Pemba Dorje Sherpa

The speed record of 26-year-old Pemba Dorje Sherpa is upheld as expected. The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Thursday formally approved  the record of Pemba at as the fastest Everest climber as 8 hours and 10 minutes on May 21, 2004. The 7 member committee was formed to look into the dispute by Lakpa Gelu Sherpa who previously held the record.

The ruling was expected by EverestNews.com, in that the “word from the mountain” was that he had did it. Secondly EverestNews.com worked with the committee to obtain several photographs of the summit for them; while they would not confirm nor comment on what they were looking for; what they asked for appeared in the photographs…

A Very Special Approach By Mr. Pemba Dorje Sherpa.

In 8th May 2007 Pemba Dorje Sherpa climbed to the top of Mt. Everest wearing a special jacket (flag jacket) which had flags of around two hundered and fifty (250) countries.

Pemba has a dream of taking the team of Nepali women with divergent ethnicities to the top of the world. “I also want to show to the world that Nepali women from any ethnic group are competent enough to climb the mountain,” he said, adding, “It will prove to the world that Nepali women are no less competent than foreign ones.”

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Super man of Mount Everest.

Apa Sherpa is the only man in history to reach the top of the world 19 times. As the world record holder of the most summits of Everest, Apa is widely recognized to be one of the greatest living mountaineers.

Ironically, summiting Everest was never a goal for Apa. At 12 years of age, he first began working as an expedition porter to earn money following the untimely death of his father. Leaders and trekkers alike immediately noticed the child who, despite his exceedingly small stature, carried loads greater than his own weight with strength, quickness and a wide smile.

Coming from Thame, the hometown of Everest legend Tenzing Norgay, it was almost inevitable that Apa would become a high altitude sherpa on Everest. He began carrying loads on Everest in 1988, but it wasn’t until May 10, 1990, that he reached the summit for the first time along with Rob Hall, Gary Ball, and Peter Hillary.

Since that memorable day, Apa has participated in 20 Everest expeditions and reached the summit 19 times. Adhering to a simple philosophy that “Everest will always be there” and it is more important to keep all team members and sherpas safe, Apa has led his teams to amazing success. He is the recipient of three medals of commendation from the royal family of Nepal as well as being recognized by mountaineering associations around the world.

If Apa could have planned his life, differently, however, he says that he would gladly have given up the world records for a good education and a career as a medical doctor. That is why education for his own children and for the other children from Thame is his top priority.

It is this desire for his children’s education that has brought Apa to the United States. While the decision to leave his homeland was a difficult one, Apa knows that his new home will bring him continued opportunities to pass on all that he has learned from climbing.

Apa has climbed Mount Everest a total of 20 times, which stands as the current record.

# Date Expedition
1 May 10, 1990 International
2 May 8, 1991 Sherpa Support/American Lhotse
3 May 12, 1992 New Zealand
4 October 7, 1992 Everest International
5 May 10, 1993 American
6 October 10, 1994 Everest International
7 May 15, 1995 American On Sagarmatha
8 April 26, 1997 Indonesian
9 May 20, 1998 EEE
10 May 26, 1999 Asian-Trekking
11 May 24, 2000 Everest Environmental Expedition
12 May 16, 2002 Swiss Everest 50th Anniversary Expedition 1952–2002
13 May 26, 2003 American Commemorative Expedition
14 May 17, 2004 Dream Everest Expedition 2004
15 May 31, 2005 Climbing for a cure
16 May 19, 2006 Team No Limit
17 May 16, 2007 SuperSherpas
18 May 22, 2008 The Eco Everest Expedition
19 May 21, 2009 The Eco Everest Expedition
20 May 22, 2010 The Eco Everest Expedition

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