Dreaming high: Getting atop the Mt. Everest

The success rate of climbing the mountain is getting high, due to the experienced Sherpas who have spent several years in the mountains, claims Mingma Gyabu Sherpa, a guide.

Eak Raj Bastola

April 6, 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Dreaming high: Getting atop the Mt. Everest
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KATHMANDU: Reaching atop the Everest can be a lifelong dream for an adventurer. In fact, a substantial number of tourists visit this Himalayan country, Nepal, with a long-cherished dream of ascending the Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak.

So far, more than 9,000 people have successfully conquered the world’s highest summit after Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary set their feet atop the summit, 8,848 meters, on May 29, 1953.

“Oh, in fact, I have no words to describe the feeling when I reached atop the Everest at the age of 19,” a cheerful Mingma recalls the ‘joyous’ moment.

Every year, Mount Everest attracts scores of audacious travelers and mountaineers, who believe reaching the top of the world is something more than finding the Holy Grail despite all odds. They risk avalanches, storms, ‘death zones’ and harsh temperatures in an attempt to summit the peak.

The success rate of climbing the mountain is getting high, due to the experienced Sherpas who have spent several years in the mountains, claims Mingma Gyabu Sherpa, a guide.

Born on May 16, 1989, in Taplejung, Mingma started his career as a porter in 2009. Full of enthusiasm and confidence, Mingma set on a mission to ascend the Everest in 2010 and succeeded in reaching the top of the world.

Talking with Khabarhub, Mingma recalled one of his neighbors, Dorje Khatri (died in 2014 due to the avalanche at Everest Base Camp), who encouraged him to climb the peak. “In fact, Khatri boosted my confidence,” Mingma said while recalling what Khatri had told him once: “Never look back”. In fact, Mingma never looked back. His only aim was to conquer the world’s tallest peak. And, he did it!

He, however, appealed to the government to categorize mountaineering guides and provide them with social security.

“Oh, in fact, I have no words to describe the feeling when I reached atop the Everest at the age of 19,” a cheerful Mingma recalls the ‘joyous’ moment.

Sharing what goes inside a mountaineer after conquering a peak, he said that summiteers become speechless for a moment. “You can’t express the moment once you set your feet there,” he quips.

It was in 2016 when Mingma, along with a team of five Sherpas, organized a rescue operation at the height of 8,600 meters of the Everest. He reminisces the moment when after three unceasing hours of struggle, they found two climbers — Chetana Sahu, 43, from Odisha’s Cuttack district in India and Phurba Sherpa – who were struggling for life.

“Both of them were in a critical condition with their supplementary oxygen running out. We safely took them to the South Col, the sharp-edged col between Mount Everest and Lhotse. They were so gratified that they told us we gave them a new life,” Mingma recalls those moments with pride.

In the course of time, Mingma was honored with Piolets d’Or Asia Awards under the Sherpa category for his commitment to technical face climbing and positive environmental stewardship in the mountains. The award aims to encourage and inspire Asian mountaineers who achieved pure and visionary ascents. With the award, he was recognized as the Sherpa of the Year 2019.

“There was no incident that made me look back or quit mountaineering. It was my dream and I have succeeded in all attempts I have so far made,” a contented Mingma told Khabarhub.

He, however, appealed to the government to categorize mountaineering guides and provide them with social security.

Mingma, however, is worried about the difficulties in climbing the Everest in recent times. “In fact, climbing the Everest has become tougher due to global warming,” he said, adding, “The Khumbu Icefall is melting faster due to global warming. Despite this, the climbing seems easy due to experienced guides and sophisticated equipment they use,” he shared.

Mingma claims that he is not climbing the mountains for records. His dream is to climb successfully 14 peaks and 7 summits.

In 2017, a British Gurkha soldier, Hari Budha Magar, who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, scripted history by successfully standing atop Mera Peak (6,476m) in the autumn climbing season. Magar became the first double amputee above the knee to climb the country’s highest trekking peak in the autumn season. Mingma had led Magar successfully to the peak.

Mingma says foreigners climb the mountains because of their interest, as well as to set a record. Mountaineers reply on the courageous Sherpas while climbing the Everest.

In the current year, Mingma successfully climbed Island Peak and is on the way to climb Mt. Annapurna (8,091m). He will then climb Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167m), and Mt. Kanchanjunga (8,586m) in the same season. Likewise, he is also planning to climb four mountains of Pakistan.

Mingma claims that he is not climbing the mountains for records. His dream is to climb successfully 14 peaks and 7 summits.

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