Sherpa Adventure Gear - Tested by Sherpas. Worn by Everyone.

I never met Sir Ed

Sir Edmund HillaryFor a young Sherpa boy in the sixties, steeped in the lore of Tenzing Norgay and his good friend Hillary, it was nothing short of a miraculous visitation, when my mother surprised me with “Hillary Saab and Agu Tenzing are coming to our house this afternoon, so don’t go off tramping around, and make sure you are here to greet them”. Those were the magical days of my childhood in Kalimpong, 40 years ago. We were not wanting of heroes then. We read Zane Grey westerns and watched Audie Murhpy fight off injuns at the Kanchan hall, read snippets about the wizard Pele who dribbled past eight players and scored goals at will. But Tenzing was our own, someone we knew proudly and boasted of to my friends as my Agu (Uncle). He and Hillary had conquered the insurmountable and in a post world war era, they were the beacons of hope. Tenzing was a frequent visitor to our house and a great friend of my parents. I knew of Edmund Hillary only through Tenzing’s biography and to me he was this distant white giant that somehow was irritatingly always spoken of in the same breath when one asked about who was the first to climb Everest. We all desperately wanted Tenzing to be the only one and it irked me that we Sherpas had to share our glory with someone else.


Ang Tharkey (1908-1981) - The First Sherpa

by Kunda Dixit (Nepali Times Editor)

Ang TharkeyMountain climbing was serious business in the early days. Expeditions attempting to climb Peak XV (Sagarmatha, Mt. Everest, Chomolungma) undertook two month-long treks from Darjeeling across the Tibetan Plateau via Shekar Dzong to Rongbuk. When and if they survived that, the road was straight up the extremely difficult North Col route to Everest. Without oxygen, and with equipment that seems woefully lacking compare to what's used today. But climb they did. Reaching 28,000 feet and more, higher than any man had ever been before, they were turned back by premature monsoons and bad snow. The reward? They limped back to Darjeeling minus fingers and toes.

Ang Tharkey, who died in Kathmandu on July 28th 1981, belonged to the first generation of elite climbing Sherpas. Born in 1908 in Khunde in the Year of the Monkey (according to the Tibetan calendar) Ang Tharkay went to Darjeeling at the age of twelve in search of work with expeditions.


Remembering Pemba Doma Sherpa (1970-2007)


Pemba Doma Sherpa passed away on May 21st, 2007 in a tragic accident while climbing down from a successful summit of Everest’s sister peak, Lhotse. Pemba was the first Nepalese women to conquer Everest from the north side, and one of only six women who have scaled the mountain twice, most recently as part of the 2002 Nepalese women Expedition (South Face).

After losing her mother at the age of two, Pemba was raised by grandparents who owned a guest house in Namche Bazaar catering to climbers. When she was quite young, her grandfather would regularly carry her on his back into the high mountains. That experience, combined with listening in as visiting climbers planned their expeditions, planted the seed of climbing Everest in her mind. But much would happen in her life before she got her chance.

Pemba was educated at one of 26 schools established in Nepal by Sir Edmund Hillary, and later went on to travel and live extensively in Europe; learning nine languages in the process. She also started her charity, Save the Himalayan Kingdom, giving talks around the world to raise money for her cause. Pemba first summited Everest—solo—in 2000. In 2002, she married Rajen Thapa. Then, in 2003, gave birth to her daughter Sairani Lhemi. Shortly after that she returned to climbing, and she and her husband started their own trekking service.

Pemba was much more than an accomplished climber. She was an inspiration to women everywhere, and a selfless champion of the Sherpa people. Her presence will be greatly missed.

Read More

Joe Puryear (1973 - 2010)

Our dear friend Joe Puryear, 37 years old, died last month on the slopes of Labuche Kang, a remote peak in Tibet. Within that short life time is the story of a supreme mountaineer, an accomplished guide book author and a photographer with an unerring genius for capturing the color of life.

I suppose I never really knew Joe Puryear the climber, but the Sherpa family is grateful that he became our friend and the best gear advisor that we could have ever asked for. His influence was instrumental in keeping our brand authentic and the work he did on our catalogs will be an endless testimonial to his love for the camera and for adventure.


Chhewang Nima (1967 - 2010)

Chhewang Nima climbed Everest 19 times and would have probably passed the world record of 20 ascents in another season. To those who knew him, however, this was not what defined this gentle soul. If you met him on the road, you would never have guessed that you were meeting one of those rare and Elite Sherpas to whom was granted that immense admiration and respect within the small and exclusive club. As a high altitude climber, he was second to none.

I got to know Chhewang through my cousin Ang Phurba a few years ago. I lost touch with him for a while until I heard that he was in Washington on Bainbridge Island staying as a guest of Pete Athans, another mountaineer. I invited him over for dinner, picked him up at the ferry docks and instantly decided to sign him as a Brand Ambassador for Sherpa Adventure Gear.