Friday, April 25, 2008

Danubu Sherpa

Danubu Sherpa
Kharikhola, Nepal (Everest Region)

Danubu has summited Mt. Everest seven times- once from the Tibet side, and six times via Nepal.

As the second youngest of five brothers, all are, or were Climbing Sherpas. Danubu's oldest brother was killed by Avalanche on Annapurna I along with his entire climbing team. Lama Jambu is also his brother, who was forced to call off his climb with us when he fell ill. Another brother, Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa, holds the World Record for Base Camp -> Summit on Mt. Everest of 10 hours, 56 minutes. Presently, Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa lives in the United States with his immediate family. His younger brother is also a Climbing Sherpa and summited once last year.

Before he became a climber, Danubu was a shepherd, looking after animals for the family. Danubu's neighbors were guiding a Mirror Peak British Team and asked him if he would like to go along for the experience. Danubu supported the other guide and summited Mirror Peak in 1996. From this point forward, he was very interested in climbing and decided that he wanted to change careers to be a full-time Climbing Sherpa.

Danubu's first Everest climb was in 1997 from the Nepal side and then summited in 2000 via the South Col with another British team. Over the next several years, he continued to climb via Nepal with the exception of last year, when he summited from the North side with a French team. His opinion, shared with Tendi, is that the North side is an easier route of climb but definitely like the Nepal route better because it's in their home country.

Danubu is highly trained in mountaineering skills and experience, and 2001 was his first time working with the Mountain Madness team. In 2007, Danubu went to the English Language Institute in Kathmandu to learn formally. As a result he is excited to practice English more with our team and learn some American ways of speaking.

He climbs because he wants to support his family, and this season he was supposed to climb via the North route, but because of the Torch Relay was rescheduled to climb with our team when his brother fell ill.

1 comment:

nepalwriter said...

Sherpas are the true heroes of Everest. Without their assistance, very few would reach the summit. To learn more about this amazing tribe, read Beyond the Summit by Linda LeBlanc. Details of Sherpa culture and religion are interwoven in a tale of romance and high adventure. The story has something for everyone: a love affair between an American journalist and Sherpa guide, conflict between generations as the modern world challenges centuries of tradition, an expedition from the porter’s point of view.

Below are selections from reviews. To read the complete ones and excerpts go to

Beyond the Summit, is the rare gem that shows us the triumphs and challenges of a major climb from the porter’s point of view. The love of two people from diverse cultures is the fiery centerpiece of a novel that leads its readers through harshly beautiful and highly dangerous territory to the roof of the world. Malcolm Campbell, book reviewer

Conflict and dialog keep this gripping story of destiny, romance and adventure moving from the first page to the last paragraph. LeBlanc has a genius for bonding her readers and her characters. I found I was empathizing in turn with each character as they faced their own personal crisis or trauma.
Richard Blake for Readers Views.

A gripping, gut-twisting expedition through the eyes of a porter reveals the heart and soul of Sherpas living in the shadows of Everest.

A hard-hitting blend of adventure and romance which deserves a spot in any serious fiction collection. Midwest Book Review

LeBlanc is equally adept at describing complex, elusive emotions and the beautiful, terrifying aspect of the Himalayan Mountains. Boulder Daily Camera

LeBlanc’s vivid description of the Himalayas and the climbing culture makes this a powerful read. Rocky Mt News Pick of the Week

A rich adventure into the heart of the Himalayan Kingdom. Fantastic story-telling from one who has been there.

This is the book to read before you embark on your pilgrimage to Nepal. The author knows and loves the people and the country, and makes you feel the cold thin air, the hard rocks of the mountains, the tough life of the Sherpa guides, and you learn to love them too. This is a higly literate, but also very readable book. Highly recommended.”
– John (college professor)

Memorable characters and harrowing encounters with the mountains keep the action moving with a vibrant balance of vivid description and dialog. Literary Cafe Host, Healdsburg, CA

This superbly-crafted novel will land you in a world of unimaginable beauty, adventure, and romance. The love story will keep you awake at night with its vibrant tension and deep rich longing. Wick Downing, author of nine novels

Such vividly depicted images of the Everest region and the Sherpa people are the perfect scenario for the romance and adventure feats narrated. It’s a page-turner, so engrossing you end up wanting to visit Nepal! Not just novel, but perfect for those seeking to get acquainted with the culture of this country.
By Claudia Fournier (América, Bs. As., Argentina)

Available through Barnes and Noble, Borders,,, and the web site