The friendly and hospitable Sherpas of Nepal is quite synonymous to Mount Everest known as Sagarmatha in Nepal that measures 8,848m (29,028 feet). Sherpas, the inhabitants of Solukhumbu region which lies just below Mount Everest are not only the strong, stout and faithful porters and load carriers but they are the backbone to any climber trying the reach the summit. Sherpas are the true mountain guides who successfully guide the summiteers towards the achievement of their dreams and aspirations – to be on the top of the world.
Sherpas play a role of a catalyst when it comes to limelight and glory. Even when they are the ones who are making and breaking most of the world records on Everest, they are seldom in the international news and media. And this plight of Sherpas is somewhat like the old saying in Nepali “kholo taryo lauro birshyo” which means people tend to forget the walking (support) stick upon crossing the river and without the stick they would have never been successful in crossing the river.
There cannot be an expedition to Mount Everest without the Sherpas. Like Gurkhas, the Sherpas are also the pride of Nepal. It is due to the Sherpas, mountaineering – the mother of tourism in Nepal is reaching its height of prosperity and this legacy will be continued.
Sherpas are the evergreen and all time heroes of Everest who need no introduction and no limelight. While most of the summiteers scale Mount Everest for pleasure, fun, self achievement, adventure, or even for Guinness Book of Records, Sherpas do it for their bread and butter. May be that is the reason why they do not go after media hype but go on conquering the mountain top with silence and perseverance as their risky profession is helping them to become self-sufficient.
A glimpse of the Sherpa world record holders and breakers:
Tenzing Norgary Sherpa, the first man on Everest in May 1953 together with Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand.
Nawang Gombu Sherpa, the first person to reach the summit twice in May 1965.
Babu Chhiri Sherpa, the first man to stay the longest atop the peak without oxygen for 21h in May 1999.
Babu Chhiri Sherpa, the first man to conquer Everest in 16h56m in May 2000.
Temba Tsheri Sherpa, the youngest boy to scale Everest at the age of 16 in May 2001.
Ming Kipa, the youngest to be on the top of Everest at the age of 15 in May 2003.
Lhakpa Gyelu Sherpa, the fastest climber to scale Everest in 10h56m in May 2003.
Appa Sherpa, the first man to reach the summit for the 14th time in May 2004.
Lhakpa Sherpa, the first woman to conquer Everest for the fourth time in May 2004.
Apang Nawang, a disabled Sherpa with only one leg scaled the highest peak in May 2004.
Pemba Dorje Sherpa, the fastest climber reaching the Everest top in 8h20m in May 2004.
Ang Rita Sherpa (the King of Sherpas), the first man to climb Mount Everest for ten times without oxygen.
Article by the editor of VisitNepal.com