Sherpas and Mt.Everest

November 7, 2010 § 1 Comment

I’m a bit obsessed with Sherpas and Mt.Everest, ya’ll. Perhaps it is the way of life of the Sherpa that is pretty incredible to me, or the fact that ‘Sherpa’ is actually the last name of a group of people who live a bit east and south of Everest


Either way, these smiley people are fascinating.

Recently I was researching the topic and came across a soul named Apa Sherpa, nicknamed “Super Sherpa”. This dude is crazy. He has summited Everest 20 times since 1990. That is basically once per year! And ever since Everest joined the 3G network, he has been tweeting the climb to the top of the mountain. SHIBBY!

As you can probably imagine, this feat isn’t very comparable to the Disney World ride, so don’t start thinking it’s a walk in the park.

The climb is packed with hundreds of variables that could all go wrong, everything from weather disasters like avalanches to falling into a gaping ice crack to low oxygen. Along the way to the top, there are reminders of the delicate balance of life on the mountain.

a skeleton hand sticks up from the snow...

Check out Apa’s twitter for more info, his last Ascent was over the summer.


§ One Response to Sherpas and Mt.Everest

  • Before foreigners began climbing Everest, Sherpas had no desire to trespass on the sacred mountains. Their language didn’t even have a word for summit. Now they work on expeditions to help sustain themselves, but every time someone steps foot on Everest, the lives of Sherpas are at risk.In 1990, I helped create the first hut system in Nepal–The Sherpa Guide Lodges. Two years later, I began leading treks to the Base Camp.Present during the worst storm in their history, I was appalled at world press coverage of the deaths of foreigners with little mention of the Sherpas who also perished. I returned home to write their story so others would understand their culture and appreciate their contributions to Everest mountaineering.
    In Beyond the Summit, details of Sherpa culture and religion are interwoven in a tale of romance and high adventure. The story has something for everyone: a love affair between an American journalist and Sherpa guide, conflict between generations as the modern world challenges centuries of tradition, an expedition from the porter’s point of view.

    Below are selections from reviews. To read the complete ones and excerpts go to

    Beyond the Summit, is the rare gem that shows us the triumphs and challenges of a major climb from the porter’s point of view. The love of two people from diverse cultures is the fiery centerpiece of a novel that leads its readers through harshly beautiful and highly dangerous territory to the roof of the world. Malcolm Campbell, book reviewer

    A gripping, gut-twisting expedition through the eyes of a porter reveals the heart and soul of Sherpas living in the shadows of Everest.

    LeBlanc is equally adept at describing complex, elusive emotions and the beautiful, terrifying aspect of the Himalayan Mountains. Boulder Daily Camera

    This is the book to read before you embark on your pilgrimage to Nepal. The author knows and loves the people and the country, and makes you feel the cold thin air, the hard rocks of the mountains, the tough life of the Sherpa guides, and you learn to love them too. This is a higly literate, but also very readable book. Highly recommended.”
    – John (college professor)

    Such vividly depicted images of the Everest region and the Sherpa people are the perfect scenario for the romance and adventure feats narrated. It’s a page-turner, so engrossing you end up wanting to visit Nepal! Not just novel, but perfect for those seeking to get acquainted with the culture of this country.
    By Claudia Fournier (América, Bs. As., Argentina)

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