The Grounded Conqueror
Pasang Tendi Sherpa, a 10-time Mount Everest Summiteer shares his story and plans with Tsering Ngodup Lama for “The Himalayan Times-Travel & Lifestyle”.
For someone, who has summated the highest mountain on the face of the earth 10 times, Pasang Tendi Sherpa is surprisingly a very grounded man. Born to a deeply religious Sherpa family, Tendi’s fascination with trekking expeditions was driven by naive hopes of being clothed and fed well and enjoying the interaction with foreigners. At a tender age of 13, Tendi landed a job in a 24 day Thorong Pass Expedition as a porter, which had him carrying 43 kilograms of baggage. This marked the beginning f a Sherpa’s mountaineering story.
The First Summit
I was 14 years old when I summated Mera Peak (6,476m), making it the first mountain I conquered. The sights of the surroundings mountains standing in all their glory was unforgettable, I decided to take up mountaineering as a career.
Stepping on Mount Everest for the first time
It was 2003 and I was 19 years old when I was hired as a high altitude worker in an Everest Cleaning Expedition. The expedition took me to a height of 8,000m and we collected a total of 2.4 tonnes of garbage. We Sherpas revere Mount Everest as a holy site and being involved in cleaning it on my first Everest expedition, I like to believe that the mountain ‘s blessings has been with me and since then I have summated Mount Everest 10 times till 2013 and twice in a week in 2007.
Conquering Mount Everest
I first reached the summit of Mount Everest in 2004, climbing from the Tibet side. At 7,000m, my climbing partner fell ill and descended back to the camp and it was just me and a client. It was my first time climbing Mount Everest and doing it alone with no help was one of the most challenging climbs I have ever undertaken. Braving the harsh weather and dealing with all other obstacles, my client and I successfully reached the summit. It was the happiest moment of my life and an emotional one too. For any climbing Sherpa, successful Mount Everest ascent stamps the entry into the mountaineering profession, and on the that day on the top, I made it into the serious mountaineer profession. And the view from the top, no words can describe it, I was left completely awestruck.
Nepali Mountaineers he looks up to
Apa Sherpa for the number of Mount Everest summit and Pemba Gyalje Sherpa (National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2008) for his heroic rescue on K2.
Moutaineeing is for everyone
With passion, determination and practice anyone can become a mountaineer. Up in the mountains it can get very exhausting and each day your limits will be pushed and your patience tested so every aspiring mountaineer should know that patience is very important in this line of work.
Aiming High: Third Pole Expedition (Conquering the South Pole, Mount Everest and Note Pole)
An Argentinean friend first approached me with the idea of South and North Pole expedition and thus formed the idea of the Third Pole Expedition which will have me journeying to South Pole, Mount Everest and North Pole. The idea is slowly shaping into reality and the Argentinean government has agreed to sponsor the airfare from Argentina to Antarctica which costs almost USD 17,000. We are looking for sponsors for the expedition and through it, I will also be raising funds to educate the differently -abled children in our country. If things go as planned, I will be making the journey by November this year and will be the first Nepali to do so.
Marriage and the mellowing
Before, I wouldn’t calculate risk extensively and took up challenges without giving much thought. But ever since I got married, I am more careful in doing what I do and I don’t take up reckless challenges. It has in some way mellowed me and at the end of every expedition I long to come back home to my family.