The South Asian Life & Times - SALT   
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 Summer 2013


Editor's Note


 Adventure & Sport
 Celebrating Everest

 Everest Turns 60
 The First Ascent

 The Summit Route

 Five Ultimate Everest

 The Sherpas

 Apa Sherpa-21 Times
 on Everest

 100 Years of Indian

 Early Pioneers

 Satyajit Ray

 Mani Kaul

 Dr A T Ariyaratne

 Lt Gen Jack Jacob

 Tara Bhattacharjee

 Ashok Vajpeyi 

Into Thin Air

 Coronation Everest

 Odyssey in War &












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Apa Sherpa - Tiger of the Everest

Apa Sherpa on Everest for the 21st time , May 2011

“In the Khumbu, people are not judged by how many times they climb the mountain, but by how much they help their neighbour.” – Apa Sherpa

Apa Sherpa knows Everest better than anyone else – he has been up 21 times – a record likely to remain unchallenged. The super-cool, super-athlete, and super human Apa Sherpa broke his own world record, one he has owned since his 10th summit in 1999, as he stood on top of the world yet again in May of 2011. The 53-year old, who is now a resident of Draper, Utah, USA (he moved there in 2006), seems to share a spiritual connection with the tallest mountain on earth. It was almost an annual pilgrimage for Apa to climb and reach the summit of Mount Everest – he also achieved a record of ten ascents in ten consecutive years.  What were his thoughts as he stood five and a half miles above the earth, SALT once asked Apa. "I thanked the mountain" he said.

Mt Everest remained elusive and unconquerable until sixty years ago. When Hillary and Tenzing became, in 1953, the first to step on the summit of the highest mountain on earth – it was breaking news like none other before. They were global heroes – one a climber from New Zealand, the other an equally passionate climber - and a Sherpa. The mere fact that they had made it to the top of the world was welcomed with worldwide celebrations and knighthood for Edmund Hillary. Nobody in his or her rational mind could have then dared to dream that fifty-eight years on, a 51-year-old Sherpa would celebrate his 21st successful summit attempt – a world record many times over. Yes – ‘The Mountain’ let him do it 21 times!

SALT in conversation with Apa – lovingly known as ‘The Tiger of the Everest.’

SALT: Mt Everest – in the sixty years since its first ascent – is now open to mountaineering tourism – where amateurs and first-timers are being taken up by guides and resulting in more and more fatalities on the mountain. Should there be stringent qualifications to allow only people with climbing experience – and not just for reasons of making money?

Apa: People in Nepal have benefited from Mt. Everest, especially Sherpa people in the Himalaya. This is good for Nepal and people in Everest region.  I would welcome climbers from all over the world to climb Everest. My suggestion would be to climb other smaller peaks before trying to climb Mt. Everest. This will give them a better opportunity to adapt to higher altitude and climbing experience for their next big adventure.

 Of the 21 times you have been up the mountain – which climb was the toughest and most challenging?

Climbing mountain is tough and challenging every time, but I would say the first was the toughest and most challenging.

Read the entire article in the print edition of The South Asian Life & Times



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