The South Asian Life & Times - SALT   
  Summer 2013          



 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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Sherpas – the Super Climbers

The Sherpas’ indigenous home lies just beneath Mount Everest, an area of 425 square miles known as the Khumbu valley. Known for their strength, endurance, competence, endearing smile – and most of all for their reputation as great high-altitude climbers, Sherpas are the mountain guides from India and Nepal who have led summiteers to the top of the Everest and other high peaks. Seldom in limelight, they are the people who enable others to capture headlines. Without them, not many would have made it to the top of the world.

Media has seldom focused on Sherpas - yet there are among them many who are a class apart, who hold world records that few can dream of breaking. Apa Sherpa holds the record of 21 Everest ascents. Messner made headlines when he climbed Everest without oxygen in 1978. Ang Rita Sherpa has climbed Everest 10 times without oxygen and he is also the only person to have climbed the Everest without oxygen in winter. Babu Chhiri Sherpa- the Nepalese mountaineer and 10 times Everest summiteer set two Everest records - one for scaling Mount Everest in the fastest recorded time (17 hours, but subsequently broken by another Sherpa), and the other for spending 21 hours at the summit – the longest stay atop the peak without oxygen. Babu died in April 2001 when he fell into a snow crevasse. His last desire was to build a school in his native village in Nepal.

On May 20, 2011, just before the monsoon season rolled in, Mingma Sherpa, the 33-year-old from Nepal, became the first South Asian to scale all 14 of the world's highest mountains -   an outstanding achievement and a milestone in South Asian mountaineering history. In the process, Mingma set a world first – he climbed all 14 peaks on first attempts! The elite 8000er club is an exclusive group of 28 mountaineers who have accomplished the rare feat of climbing all 14 peaks above 8000m – and Mingma was the 24th person to do so – just before his 33rd birthday in June, when he stood atop Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain on earth – and the last of his 14 peaks.  More people have landed on the moon than have achieved or equalled Mingma’s Grand Slam of Mountaineering.


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