Everest is our honor and head : Lakpa Sherpa

Eak Raj Bastola

February 8, 2020

8 MIN READ

Everest is our honor and head : Lakpa Sherpa
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KATHMANDU: Sherpas are like Hemingway’s Santiago, who struggle, live in and live with the snow-capped mountains. Belonging to Sherpa community, the community synonymous to mountaineers, was an advantage to Lakpa Sherpa.

Lakpa Sherpa, born in 1991, in Sankhuwasabha, is one of the typical Sherpas who honor, worship and is sustained by the mountains and regards Everest as their honor and head.

His successful Everest ascent which started in 2010 has got 7 caps of success already.

“I was so strong and competent,” he recalled the days when he started climbing.

Sherpa began his career in the field of tourism when he was reading an 8th grader. When he went to Thorang-La Pass with that intent he was just 14. With the money earned from it, he bought notebooks and other stationery items needed for his study.

His footsteps have been in the same field since then.

“You forget everything when you reach the summit,” Lakpa shared with Khabarhub about his first adventure to the summit “You will be relieved from the tiredness and risk and feel like a winner, a superhero when you atop the summit.”

He earned around 8 lakh rupees from the first Everest summits, which he finished within three months having a ‘Jolly” mood all the time.

Working five years in other companies and at the suggestions from friends and colleagues, he started his own company ‘Pioneer Adventure Pvt. Ltd in 2016.’ He has taken dozens of climbers to the summit of different mountains. Moreover, he has turned a ‘lifesaver” for many climbers stuck in many mountains.

In 2016, working in the Team of Anthony Gordon, an Australian TV producer who had conceptualized a documentary, he and his teammate rescued 52 people within 5 weeks. This feat which was later published in the documentary ‘Everest Air’ helped him earn fame as ‘lifesaver’.

As a rescuer, he experienced that it is very hard. “You forget your life rescuing above 8600 meters,” he recalled.  At that time, he had rescued two Indians and a ‘Sherpa’.

As a rescuer, he has identified several spots where people are trapped in the mountains. He mentions various factors responsible for the impasse mountaineers are subject to.

This young mountaineer is worried about the impact of negative news disseminated about Everest and other regions. “Government and all stake-holders should be united to stop negative news as negative news might hamper our mountaineering sector in particular and tourism sector as a whole,” he spoke to Khabarhub indicating the news about the traffic in Everest in 2019 which had gone viral around the world.

According to him, untrained and unprofessional guides, using untested mountaineering gears, unfamiliar guides, unpredictable weather and lack of precautions regarding extreme weather conditions and over-excitement for records, etc. are the major factors responsible for the climbers’ missing.

“Some companies use the untrained and unprofessional guides due to the overflow of tourists,” he shared his findings with Khabarhub, “which may lead to the casualties in the mountains.”

According to Lakpa, the cause of fewer casualties on the Tibetan side is the provision of certified and experienced [Nepali] guides.

“There they have the provisions that each team must have certified and experienced guides which reduces the chances of casualties on the Tibetan side.”

Being a mountaineering entrepreneur, he trains his climbers in 6000ers and 7000ers. There his companies check the acclimatization and stamina of tourists and then suggest for Everest. So, he claims that there is no such sad incident with the clients from Pioneer.

He also praises the skills and stamina of Sherpas, who excel others in mountaineering.

“They can acclimatize themselves in every condition compared to ‘very professional and trained foreign guides,” Lakpa tells Khabarhub about Sherpa’s immunity against the hardship in climbing, “However, well trained the foreign guides maybe their body does not support as Sherpa’s.”

Lakpa is very anxious about the unprofessional and unhealthy competition in the mountaineering industry these days. “They grab clients offering low prices and other services but the climbers face the problems later,” he speaks his heart, “Low cost of operations cannot hire the ‘expert’ guides.”

He is equally concerned about the fact that some western companies who operate expedition in Nepal take high charges but finally collaborate with Nepali companies.

“They (the companies owned by the westerners) bargain with the company and try to settle at low cost, as a result, the company cannot provide qualified guides and services,” he explained  Khabarhub various causes of problems faced by the climbers.

‘Sherpa’ now referred to the guides in general actually means the people or the ethnic community with that surname.

“Earlier, Sherpas used to be considered as a porter but now they are the most reliable guides. Mountaineering is their standard job and can earn a handful of money,” he spoke satisfactorily about the changes Mountains have brought in the lifestyle of Sherpa people.

His dream is to do the business of outdoor equipment later. “Let’s see, what can be in five years,” he muses.

Although he is not doing his job for records, he has happened to set various mountaineering records.

On 31 July, 2012 he climbed K2 successfully with his brothers making them the first siblings on the top of K2. He has climbed more than eight 8000ers more than 3 times.

This young mountaineer is worried about the impact of negative news disseminated about Everest and other regions. “Government and all stake-holders should be united to stop negative news as negative news might hamper our mountaineering sector in particular and tourism sector as a whole,” he spoke to Khabarhub indicating the news about the traffic in Everest in 2019 which had gone viral around the world.

He wants Mt. Everest to retain its glory as he regards it as his head. He feels sad when it’s defamed.

Moreover, he wishes to set a record in Everest to encourage the youth in the mountaineering sector. He expects the government to be supportive and constructive for the tourism sector.

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