Sherpas are real life heroes. While western mountaineers are famed all across the world, we often tend to forget to credit these sherpas who have equal, or far too many achievements to their names as well. Sherpa translates into “The Eastern People” and this ethnic group is a big help to all the mountaineers from across the world who aspire to climb Everest, or any other peak around Nepal. They are also called as the superhuman climbers of the world. But sadly, there are only a few Sherpas who are known to the masses today. We all know about Tenzing Norgay, but what about the others? So, here are 6 famous Sherpas we should all know about!
Born in 1973, Lakpa is the first Nepalese woman to climb and descent the Mt. Everest successfully. She has climbed the Everest 9 times, more than any other woman climber.
In the year 2000, Lakpa was made the leader of the expedition to the Everest which was sponsored by Asian Trekking. This was her first climb to the highest peak in the world. In 2010, she also attempted to reach the summit of Mt. K2, but was successful in reaching only till camp 3, after which she had to turn back due to bad weather.
Now, Lakpa is an American citizen and a public figure. Her interviews have featured in The Telegraph and many other leading media outlets.
Babu Chiri Sherpa
Born in 1965, Babu Chiri has reached the summit of Everest 10 times! He also holds two world records to his name. First, he managed to stay on the summit of Everest for 21 hours without auxiliary oxygen. Second, he is known to have made the fastest ascent to the summit of Everest in 16 hours and 56 minutes only!
As a child, Babu Chiri grew up in the mountains and always loved them with all his heart. The legend of Tenzing Norgay was his inspiration to climb the Everest too. He began his career at the age of 16, as a mountain porter and the rest is history. He also went on some expeditions to Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world.
However, Babu Chiri died in 2001 when he fell into a crevasse from camp 3 while taking some photographs during his 11th attempt to summit the mighty Everest. He still is remembered for his achievements and always will.
Pemba Gyalje Sherpa
He is a 46 year old mountaineer who is one of the most notable Sherpas of today. With an astonishing 127 ascents to various mountains of the world, he also trains aspiring mountaineers.
Being awarded various prestigious awards like, The Adventurer of the Year and The Heroism, he also featured in the documentary called, “The Summit” alongside some Swedish mountaineers. In this documentary, he was seen talking about his experience losing 11 fellow climbers to an avalanche while climbing K2.
Pemba Gyalje now lives in Kathmandu, Nepal with his family and continues to add feathers to his already crowded hat.
Phurba Tashi Sherpa
If you’re wondering what his achievements in the field of mountaineering are, he has climbed the summit of Everest twenty-one times, Mt. Cho Oyu five times, Mt. Manaslu two times and Mt. Shishapangma and Mt. Lhotse one time each.
Since his unbelievable achievements, Phurba Tashi has featured in a Discovery Channel documentary series called “Everest: Beyond The Limit” and has also led many expeditions. He is a role model in the Sherpa community and continues to inspire those who dream of climbing the mighty mountains of the world.
Phurba Tashi (48-years-old) has now retired from mountaineering and lives in Khumjung, Nepal.
Ang Dorje Sherpa
Born in 1970, Ang Dorje is a Nepali mountaineer, trainer and porter, all packed into one. He has climbed the summit of the Everest 19 times and is a public figure whose achievements are phenomenal.
Ang Dorje also assisted Bachendri Pal, the first woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest in 1984. This was his second ascent to the Everest. He has since climbed other peaks like Cho Oyu, Broad Peak and many others.
Ang Dorje now lives in the USA with his wife Michelle Gregory.
Kami Rita Sherpa
Born in 1970, he has under his name the world record for the most ascents to the summit of Mt. Everest. He climbed the summit of Everest for the twenty-third time in May 2019, breaking the previous record of twenty-two ascent, which was his own record that he had achieved in May 2018.
The fact that he was 49-years-old when he achieved the above mentioned world record, is commendable. Kami Rita started the climb from the Nepal side along with eight other Nepali climbers. Because of him achieving this feat, he is now well-known around the world!
Kami Rita presently works for the mountaineering firm, Alpine Ascents and lives in Nepal, his home country.
If you are an aspiring mountaineer and want to summit the peaks that the Himalayas has to offer, you must get to know about the Sherpa community. They are not only porters and great mountaineers, but people with inhuman mountain climbing abilities.