KATHMANDU: As a child, Lakpa Sherpa constantly wanted to explore new horizons. His childhood dream gradually started to materialize when he started his career in the mountaineering and adventure sector in 1998 as a porter. Since then, this robust Lakpa has been exploring the mountains and the new horizons.
So far, Lakpa has ascended the world’s highest summit — Mt Everest — for six times since 2003. The first ascend bestowed him a new vivacity – a moment full of ecstasy. “Yes, I felt that I in fact conquered the world then,” he reminisces those moments.
His chest broadened like a real hero, a conqueror. That very moment gave him something that he would never forget in his entire life. It was a moment full of honor and self-esteem since it was the day when his childhood dreams came just true.
“Don’t ask me the degree of exhilaration,” Lakpa spurts with a sense of pride and satisfaction and a little bit of beam.
“Once you are there, you get a sense of euphoria,” he told Khabarhub in the course of a candid conversation adding, “And the secret is you get less-stressed atop the world’s highest peak.”
His endeavor does not end here. He has successfully climbed Cho-Oyu, Mt Denali, Mt Blanc, Mt Makalu, Mt Dhaulagiri, Mt Manaslu, and several other mountain peaks.
Consider what he has to say about the mountains: “Every mountain has its own story,” says Lakpa. According to him, the height of the mountains does not matter much despite being risky. For him, each mountain that he has climbed so far has motivated and encouraged him to go further.
Climbing the mountains, he continues, creates an awesome feeling. Besides Mt Everest, climbing some other mountains gives a climber a new challenge and experience as one needs to make his/her own way or fixing the rope. In the case of Mt Everest, the government has fixed the rope and the climbers merely follow the trails.
In fact, he is one of the members of the team to document the whole South route to the summit of Mount Everest with a 360° camera rig.
He took the lead of a project of a Swiss mountain sports specialist Mammut to create virtual mountaineering of Mt Everest along with mountain guides Pemba Rinji Sherpa, supported by Kusang Sherpa and Ang Kaji Sherpa. That’s why he has succeeded to become the first person (along with his team) in the world to document the whole South route to the summit of Mount Everest with a 360° camera rig.
Currently, the President of Nepal Mountaineering Instructors Association, Lakpa elucidates that the footage isn’t just for couch potatoes wanting to see an impressive view of the majestic mountain peak. “This is for those who really want to climb the Mt Everest where they can look at this Mammut 360 degree image film, learn some techniques, the patterns, images and the weather risks,” he shared.
The Association that he is currently leading provides High Mountain Rescue Training, Basic Mountain Rescue Training, and Hill Walking & Mountain Navigation Course, Ice climbing level -1, and Introductory Rock Climbing Course for those wanting to start their career as mountaineering guide and an aspiring mountaineer climbing.
He emphasizes the importance of climbing the mountains with a mountaineering license guide. According to him, a trained guide focuses on safety and non-training and non-experienced guides fail to make an instant decision in case of any hazardous events.
In Europe and the US, the governments give top priority to the mountains and have even announced certain rules and regulations to climb the mountains. Climbers can only go with the certified International Mountains guides in those countries.
Here, Lakpa seems a bit disappointed with the government since he argues that the government of Nepal has failed to prioritize Nepal’s mountains and the people who are dependents on them.
According to him, the government should focus on providing training as well as safety and security measures. “In fact, the government should produce at least 20 mountains guides each year to fulfill the growing demands,” he suggests adding further, “There are currently around 60 trained mountains guides in Nepal.”
A Nepali, who is a certified guide from the International Mountain Guides visit Europe, America, China, Russia, among other countries as a mountain guide. By saying this, Lakpa makes it a point to argue that trained mountaineering guides have opportunities in other countries as well where they will be able to get the job throughout the year.
While saying so, Lakpa instantly raises the issue of global warming, which he says has adversely affected the mountains, including the Mt Everest. “I feel disappointed to notice black stones on Mt Everest. Until a few years ago, the entire peak used to be covered with snow, and more regrettably the number of glacier lakes is on the rise.”
“Can you imagine, mosquitoes can be seen at the Base Camp of Mt. Everest due to the effect of global warming,” he quips with a sense of displeasure.
The government and the concerned stakeholders, he suggested, should raise awareness to control carbon-emission in the region. “It is high time that all concerned put their efforts, or else it would be too late,” he concludes.