Home Features Famous climber Shambhu Tamang passes away
July 8, 2022

Famous climber Shambhu Tamang passes away

Kathmandu: Shambhu Tamang, one of the famous mountaineers and founders of Nepal Mountaineering Association, has passed away.

He had been undergoing treatment for cancer for some time. According to family sources, he died at the age of 70 at Harisiddhi Cancer Hospital on Thursday morning.

Shambu Tamang at the age of 17 years in 1993 had climbed Mt Everest and   created a world record for being the youngest climber in the world. NMA has expressed grief over the demise of Shambu.

He was a member of the NMA led by Kumar Khadga Bikram Singh on Tamang’s initiative. “I had seen an organization of guides in Europe, so I had taken the initiative to open an organization in Nepal that would be easier to promote Nepal’s mountains if there was an organization related to mountaineering,” he said in an interview with Highlights Tourism last year.

This is how NMA was established (in Shambhu Tamang’s words)

I was born in Lisankhu village of Sindhupalchowk. At that time, mountaineers from Khumbu area used to go through our village. We children used to enjoy watching them go. Seeing them wearing big boots and carrying heavy loads in their bags, it seemed like it was fun to go up the mountain. We used to carry heavy loads in thumse at that time.

In 1968, at the age of 14, I had the opportunity to learn the language in Italy. The place I went to study in Italy was also like my village in Nepal, the mountainous region. There I met mountaineers. I was young, even though I came to study, I wanted to learn to climb the mountain. That’s how I learned the basics of mountaineering.

In 2071, I arrived in France while skiing. There I met mountain guides. They were planning to climb Nepal’s mountains. They told me to go and learn work. In 1971, I joined them and came to climb Makalu Himal. Thus began my mountaineering. In 1972, I went to climb Mt. Everest. Both of these climbs were not successful. I was young and lacked experience.

 Thinking of opening an institution

The experience of these two mountaineering endeavors and the association with European guides made me think that I should open an organization related to mountaineering in Nepal as well. There were mountaineering guides in Nepal, and many foreigners learned with them.

I started looking for friends for that. I had a conversation with Nityaman Shrestha and got the matter. For the first time, there was talk of forming a Nepal Mountaineering Association. There was no Ministry of Tourism at that time. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs used to allow climbers.

So we went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, putting forward Nityaman Shrestha, who was a little older than me. The European and American branches were in charge of permitting mountaineering. The chief of the branch was Yadav Kant Silwal. He later became a well-known figure in the Nepali diplomatic arena.

Income by raising mountain royalties

The organization was registered, but we had to move forward. At that time, Kumar Khadgabikram was on the Sports Council. We had an office under the council’s ladder. Later, we ran a NMA office with a table under the ladder of Tek Chandra Pokhrel’s Trans Himalayan Treks.

Establishment of Manang School

After getting the right to raise the royalty of small mountains, the income of the association came. But, that was not an easy task. After the NMA was established, relations were established with alpine clubs in Europe and America.

The first thing we did was spread the message that royalties would be levied on the small mountains of Nepal and that a check could be done at any time for not paying royalty. It worked and even climbers started seeking permission to climb a small mountain.

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