Kathmandu: Nepali mountaineer Sanu Sherpa set history by climbing twice the 14 highest mountains in the world. So far, only 14 peaks have been identified higher than 8000m. in the world. He set a record by climbing the 8,035m. high Gasherbrum-II in Pakistan on Thursday morning.
47-year-old Sanu Sherpa, whose permanent home is Makalu Rural Municipality-1 of Sankhuwasabha, was engaged in a campaign to climb the 14 highest mountains in the world twice. In this connection, he climbed Makalu and Kanchenjunga mountains in the spring of this year.
Sanu Sherpa: Life and experiences
The mountaineer Sanu Sherpa, 47, is known less in Nepal but is well known among foreign mountaineers. The simple reason for his worldwide popularity is because of the great mountaineering feat that he achieved in climbing the world’s all 14 mountains above 8000 meters, which is a lifetime achievement for a climber. This is an incredible job that is not easily attainable by the ordinary.
Childhood and life in the Village
Sanu was born in a remote village in Sankhuwasabha, Makalu– 1 on 14 April 1975. His father Galzan was a poor farmer who used to maintain his living by rearing yak and sheep in a remote hill village, far away from Kathmandu. He did not get the chance to go to school as the school teachers did not speak the Sherpa language and it was very difficult for Sherpa students to understand the language of Nepali-speaking teachers in the school in those days.
His wife Diki still lives in the remote village of Sankhuwasabba, taking care of ancestral lands and home, while his children live and study in Kathmandu for Sherpa thinks that his children should be nurtured well in education as he could not attain the proper education in his life.
Sherpa recalls his old memories and admits that after living a village life for around 31 years, he had decided to do something by coming to Kathmandu as he had heard about his neighbors having achieved financial success after coming to the towns and involve in the trekking field.
He also thought coming to town will bring him fortune and opportunities. And to a great extent, it did happen so.
Despite having no formal education, Sherpa arrived in Kathmandu in 2005 and started working as a porter in the trekking agencies. After working as a trekking porter for nearly a year, he got a chance to work as a Sherpa guide for climbers when one of his old acquainted people in the trekking agency allowed him to join the company as a porter.
Then, fortunately, he got a chance to climb Mt Cho Oyu in 2006 (8188 meters). It was his first ascent that was successfully concluded. This success opened a wider door in the mountaineering field for him. Though he had no formal climbing training, he also got a chance to climb Mt. Everest in 2007.
For most of his mountaineering career, he remained as a Sherpa guide for the Korean expedition team, and for a few years he spent his time as a guide for Chinese climbers too.
On being asked how he was able to climb Mt Everest and other 14 peaks above 8000 meters without formal training in climbing, he points out that perhaps he was born to be a natural-born climber because he had all that energy, courage, and adventurous spirit to challenge the insurmountable barriers of higher mountains of the world.
He claimed that he never had a difficulty in climbing peaks, and had never had altitude sickness such as nausea, or giddiness while many of his friends suffered from those problems. He also said that he never felt any difficulty in climbing the peaks of higher heights for which other climbers would think twice about attempting. Indicating the climbing training provided by Nepal Mountaineering Association (MNA), Sherpa said the NMA training are helpful for fresh climbers on how to use the ice ax and how to walk through the ice.
Sherpa also said that he also provides climbing training to fresh climbers for about two weeks in Kathmandu. For him, climbing all 14 higher peaks above 8000 meters for double-time is his passion and cherished dream. Out of 14 peaks above 8000 meters, he has already climbed 7 peaks without supplementary oxygen.
Sherpa also recalls how he was suddenly popular after climbing Mt Everest and he had also got the chance to join several other expeditions after scaling Mt Everest. Opportunities came to him after his successful ascent of Mt Everest. His expeditions continued from 2006 through 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2019.
On being asked what the Nepal government should do for the mountaineers, he opines that at least the government should arrange to provide special passes or identity cards to them so that they can enter the airports and other important venues, where they may not be mistreated.
Pointing out to some of the guides and expedition companies who usually swindle the tourists, Sherpa said, “The real test of altitude begins in between 6000 and 8000 meter high peaks. So, it is not good to beat about the bush on the part of the companies that their Sherpa guides have experience in climbing Mt Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Mt Everest without actually doing it, just to cheat the clients.”
Sherpa also divulged that few climbers had obtained achievement certificates without climbing the peaks which thwarted many authentic guides and climbers to get the certificates after the facts were proven to be fraudulent enough.
Ascent peak and year:
Annapurna – 2016, 2021
Broad Peak – 2014, 2017
Cho Oyu – 2006, 2008
Dhaulagiri – 2019, 2021
Everest – 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017
Gasherbrum II – 2019, 2022
Gasherbrum I – 2013, 2019
K2 – 2012, 2021
Kanchenjunga – 2014, 2022
Lhotse – 2008, 2021
Makalu – 2019, 2022
Manaslu – 2010, 2011, 2016
Nanga Parbat – 2017, 2018, 2022
Shishapangma – 2006, 2011
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