Sherpa, popularly known as ‘Snow Leopard’ among mountaineering community, had climbed Mt Everest ten times without the use of supplementary oxygen (which almost all climbers use due to shortage of oxygen in the heights of the mountain). Climbing the everest once in life time is the dream of some of the best mountain climbers and Ang Rita has climbed it “10” Times. His sixth climb set the world record for the most successful ascents of Mount Everest, which he re-set on his tenth climb again.
This includes the “only oxygenless winter ascent of the mountain”. This is a Legendary Feat !! Breathing in the chilling winter air in the already cold Mt Everest in winter, he climbed the mountain. Which in normal times itself is tough. The amount of toughness required to do that feat is superhuman. He first scaled/climbed Everest in 1983, then finally the 10th time in 1996, all without bottled oxygen. Sherpa was born in 1948 in Nepal in a very humble family.
Sherpa was born in 1948 in Thame, Solukhumbu. His family reared yaks. He spent his childhood looking after the yaks and as a porter on trading expeditions across the Himalayas to Tibet. He joined mountaineering as a porter at the age of 15. He did not receive any formal education or mountaineering training but he was the best! Eight of his ten summits/climbs were via the Southeast ridge route. His last summit was 12 days after the 1996 Everest disaster. He was very sad by the death of his friends in the disaster. He fell sick that year. His family said, King Birendra of Nepal had sent Crown Prince Dipendra to ” tell his request that Sherpa retire from mountaineering, due to his weakened health”. He stopped mountaineering after the request by the Crown Prince. Such is the connection between the people in Nepal ! The king requests a Mountain climbing Guide out of love and concern and the mountain climbing guide listens.
Sherpa was considered by his friends to be the strongest and most skilled Sherpa guide of his time. The starting: he once signed up as a low-altitude porter in an expedition to Dhaulagiri mountain, but was made to carry equipment to Dhaulagiri-III camp, a task he successfully completed without shoes and any climbing gear.Definitely he was tough like mountain Yak. In April 1985, he successfully took the leader of the Norwegian team that he was guiding, to the peak of Mount Everest despite a snow storm. An impossible task ! This shows how gaant and skilled he was.
During his record-setting ascent of Everest in the winter of 1987, he assisted a South Korean team. After he and another climber got separated from the team one night, the two performed aerobic exercises all night to keep warm and alive. His prescence of mind and peristence in tough situations is understood by this. Many wouldnt know what to do in such situation and if they knew they wouldnt keep work so hard in those situations. He went on to successfully summit dozens of mountains including Mount Everest, K2, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Manaslu, Annapurna and Dhaulagirimountains, multiple times without supplementary oxygen.
Sherpa’s body was kept in a gompa in Kathmandu before the funeral on 23 September.His funeral was held with national honours at Teku Dobhan, the holy confluence of Bagmati and Bishnumati rivers in Kathmandu, according to Buddhist customs. The minister of tourism and culture Nepal, Yogesh Bhattarai, draped his body with the national flag, and a squad from the Nepal Armed Police Force gave a gun salute. Our deepest respects and regards to Ang Rita Sherpa the Mountaineering Legend . He is equal to Tenzing Norgay the Legend, first explorer and climber of Mount Everest.
references: 8000ers.com. Ascents – Everest (without supplementary oxygen), Kropp, Goran. (1999) Ultimate High: My Everest Odyssey. Discovery Books. pp 175-184.