SHERPA E-TALK WITH LHAKPA TENZING "APA" SHERPA"
Welcome to THE SHERPA-E-TALK.
It is my honor to E-TALK with Apa Sherpa, one of the best Everest climbers
ever...He is simple and shy. If you pass by him, you would not even in
your wildest dreams think that he is the famous Apa Sherpa. If you got
to know him, his humble and simple approach to life could teach you a
great deal. His given name is Lhakpa Tenzing Sherpa, from the village
of Thame in the Everest region. He is not quite sure of his birth date
but he does look as if he is in his forties. Feeling the pressure of his
family's poverty, he abandoned his studies and began leading small treks.
When asked to work as a kitchen boy for Ehardt Loretan's Round Annapurna
Traverse in 1985, his climbing career began. Apa Sherpa climbed the summit
of Mt. Everest for the first time in May 10th of 1990. He became successful
in holding the World record by climbing 14 times on summit of world's
highest mountain, Sagarmatha, Mt. Everest or CHYOMOLONGMA on 17 May 2004
at 5.45 AM. He is a little great man who has established himself as "THE
LION OF THE HIMALAYA."
Apa Sherpa is married
to Yang Chi Sherpa and together they have four children: Tenzing Zangbu,
Pemba Nurbu, Ang Nimi and Dawa Yang Chi Sherpa.
Tsewang Sherpalama: When I
met you in Washington DC during one of your visits to the USA, you, Partemba
Dai, Ang Rita Dai and Mingma Dai were invited by a couple of very important
figures of this most powerful nation. Sandra Day O'Conner, a supreme court
judge and senator Dianne Feinstein who is one of the most influential
senators in the United States government received you withth such honor
that very few people in this world would only hope for. Were you thrilled
to have received such respect from such powerful people?
Apa Sherpa: I felt it was a great honor to meet such personalities
and somehow difficult to think about having such an opportunity.
Sherpalama: You have proven that you can climb the world's highest mountain
at your disposal and you said " Important to make my wife happy,
she very nice… I love very much. If I am not here, not live, she
get less respect, and I don't like. She get no money for kids education".
May I ask you why then do you keep climbing Everest? Don't you believe
it is dangerous?
Apa Sherpa: For me the most important
thing is my wife and children and the proper education of my children.
One way of making this achievement of making some one you like happy is
to make money and climbing Everest is the most cruising profession for
me. However, it is also dangerous. However, I climb Everest when I have
feeling that it will be safe in terms of my health and technical viewpoints.
At one point, I will definitely have to give up. I have to admit that
my wife and children want me not to climb. But you cannot give up certain
things that others do not want to do.
Tsewang Sherpalama: Among the
many records that you have established during your climbing profession,
you and your brother, Ang Rita Sherpa, became the first brothers to stand
on top of Everest at the same time. How did you two share each other's
joy on top of the world's highest place?
Apa Sherpa: It was really a thrilling
moment but there was not much we can do or share at that height. Chating
with him would not be possible due lack of oxygen. So, the only thing
we shared was a short photo session and a hug and we descended together.
Tsewang Sherpalama: When in
January of 2002 you were offered a higher salary and better opportunities
with National Geographic's expedition, you refused the golden offer due
to your prior commitment to other expedition group. Was that your way
of showing "SHERPA LOYALTY" or something else?
Apa Sherpa: It was the way of showing
Sherpa loyalty. I do not want to break promise.
Tsewang Sherpalama: You were
awarded medals for your bravery by the government of Nepal. If you were
given a choice between a medal and other things what would you have asked
for from the government?
Apa Sherpa: You can not put a price
or evaluate dignity and honor. So, I would definitely choose medals.
Tsewang Sherpalama: You have
said many times that your children's education is very important to you.
May I ask you why and what advise would you give to the younger generation
Apa Sherpa: I want to advise the younger
generation that education is the most important thing to change you and
your community. I feel thatthe young Sherpas should not take breaks from
schools, colleges or universities to work as guides, climbers etc. I would
say, fly your kite as high as possible, but do not break the string yourself.
Tsewang Sherpalama: Do you
plan to climb again and would you want your children to be Everest climbers?
Apa Sherpa: I have not yet decided
whether to climb Everest again or not. I have not been offered by any
expedition. About my children, they should continue their studies and
it would be their own decision whether to climb Everest or not.
like to thank Mr. Apa Sherpa for participating in this SHERPA-E-TALK.
I would also like to thank Ang Danu Sherpa, Manager of KBC for translating
my questions and Apa's answers for this E-TALK. STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT
E-TALK with a uniquely energetic, dearly liked and truly a great friend
in need, and indeed a person of admiration for his friendship, truthfulness
and devotion to the community he prides so greatly.
If you have any
comments or would like
to suggest anyone's name for the Sherpa-E-Talk, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org