Tribute to grandfather: Tenzing Jangbu climbing Everest to pay tribute to Ang Rita Sherpa

Eak Raj Bastola

February 12, 2022


Tribute to grandfather: Tenzing Jangbu climbing Everest to pay tribute to Ang Rita Sherpa

Tenzing Jangbu Sherpa

KATHMANDU: Grandson of record-holder mountaineer Ang Rita Sherpa Tenzing, Jangbu Sherpa is on a holy mission — to climb Mt Everest this Spring season without the use of supplementary oxygen as a tribute to his grandfather.

To note, Ang Rita is the only person on Earth to have climbed Everest 10 times without supplementary oxygen.

Also, the first one to complete the first winter ascent of Everest without supplementary oxygen. Apart from this, he also climbed Kanchenjunga, Cho Oyu, and Dhaulagiri 9 times in total, without supplementary oxygen.

In 2017, the Guinness World Records recognized Ang Rita as the only person in the world to have climbed Mount Everest 10 times without bottled oxygen, between 1983 and 1996. The record still stands. He also achieved the first winter climb of the 8,848.86 meters mountain without supplementary oxygen in 1987.

He last climbed Earth’s tallest peak in 1996.

Tenzing Jangbu Sherpa’s grandfather and renowned mountaineer Ang Rita Sherpa.

At sea level, the air we breathe is made up of about 21 percent oxygen. At 4,000 meters this falls to around 12.5 percent. At 8,848.86m, the altitude of Mount Everest, the level of oxygen dropped to around 6.9 percent.

In fact, any altitude above 8,000m is ominously referred to as the “death zone”, where the air is so thin that the human body begins to struggle to meet its basic functions.

For this reason, most climbers who seek to reach the top of Everest rely on supplemental oxygen.

23 year’s old Tenzing is the eldest son of Chhewang Dorje Sherpa and his wife Pasang Futi Sherpa. Born in Solukhumbu, Nepal, Tenzing has been living in Sunnyvale, California, USA, for the past 15 years. Among the four children of Ang Rita Sherpa and wife Kanchhi Sherpa, Chhewang Dorje Sherpa is their second son.

Tenzing’s father, Chhewang Dorje, himself is a mountaineer. He has climbed Everest six times in a row while his mother Pasang Futi Sherpa’s eight siblings, among 12, are also Guinness World Record holding climbers from Rolwaling Valley in Dolakha District, Nepal.

Tenzing Jangbu Sherpa. Photo: Rajkumar Shrestha

Living his entire life among climbers, the grandson was unaware of mountaineering, mountain life, and the hardship of his ancestors.

In the year 2012 when he went to the USA, he closely witnessed Ang Rita’s fame and legendary positions. He experienced firsthand his grandfather’s glory but had no idea about the kind of legacy his grandfather left behind.

Tenzing Sherpa says, “My grandfather Ang Rita and Everest are interconnected. My grandfather got fame due to Everest and he introduced Nepal and Everest to the rest of the world.”

“I feel his soul lives at the summit of Mt Everest. I want to convey my last goodbye to him. Well, to a mountaineer grandpa whose entire life was about Everest and mountains, I guess this is the best way to express the deepest love and respect as his grandson. This will be a tribute to him,” Sherpa added.

Tenzing, who came to Nepal last year, decided to follow the footsteps of his forefathers and for the first time in his life, trekked to his ancestral home village Hilajung in Solukhumbu District at Everest Region.

He was more than a proud grandson. During his trekking to Everest Base Camp, he was loved and respected by everyone simply because he was the grandson of the Snow Leopard.

He recalled that his grandfather was as poor as normal farmers but hiss earned him fame. Everyone is born but only a few get the name and are recognized by the world, making Ang Rita is a true inspiration. He came out of the bubble and earned his name and fame.

Tenzing Jangbu Sherpa. Photo: Rajkumar Shrestha

“My grandfather was so humble and didn’t care about attires. Many people said that he walked Namche to Everest Base Camp in one day and folks declared him as a ‘Strongest Man’. He felt suffocated when he used oxygen regulator in his mouth: therefore, he climbed mountains without supplementary oxygen,” Sherpa shines a light on his grandfather’s attitude.

“I am inspired by him and want to be like him,” he told Khabarhub. “My family has supported me a lot that’s why I am here to climb the tallest mountain on Earth,” he added.

His three main objectives behind this mission are to climb Everest as a tribute to his grandpa, to make a documentary of his journey and of his grandfather, and to establish a museum in his ancestral home village in the memory of Ang Rita Sherpa. A museum, while recording events of history, would circulate information to the new generation.

After my summit, it would add a feature in the mountaineering sector that Ang Rita’s grandson has also successfully climbed Mt Everest.

Ang Rita spent his childhood days in the high pastures grazing yaks, growing potatoes, and carrying commodities from nearby markets.

Last year, on a journey from Rolwaling Valley’s last human settlement Na Village at an altitude of 4200m, the grandson trekked to Chugima (3800m) and Jabo-David Lama Biwak (5050m) and crossed one of the most difficult high passes in Nepal, Tashi Laptch at an altitude of 5755m. From there, he continued to Thengbo (4230m), Thame (3800m) to Namche (3750m), finally, reaching his village Yillajung, a tiny village near Thame in the Everest region of Nepal.

After successfully crossing the Tashi Laptch, at the first attempt without any problems, he is adapted easily and there is the transfer of his grandfather’s ‘gene’ to him. With this, he is more hopeful for the successful attempt of Mt Everest.

Tenzing Jangbu Sherpa. Photo: Rajkumar Shrestha

Similarly, he wants to inspire the youths who had upper-bringing in life.

Currently, Tenzing Jangbu Sherpa is working on fund collection. He has asked every mountain lover around the globe to support his dream project through a Gofundme account.

Tenzing Jangbu Sherpa. Photo: Rajkumar Shrestha.