Sherpas Squabble Over Everest Record...
Last week's new Everest speed record is the subject of a complaint by 12 leading Nepali climbers including the previous record holder...
Posted: 2 June 2004
Last week's Everest speed climb record set by Pemba Dorje Sherpa
has been questioned by no less than 12 leading Nepali climbers
including a number of Everest summiteers, who have demanded an
The time of just over eight hours eclipsed the old record held by
Lakpa Gelu Sherpa who is among the complainants. The new complaint
follows on from a similar squabble last year when Pemba Dorje
questioned the veracity of Lapka Gelu's then record of 10 hours and
56 minutes, which was upheld after a government investigation.
The complainants say that Pemba's new record was set in weather
conditions that were so bad other expedition groups could not climb,
he, in return, says that many witnesses saw him on his way to the
summit and that he has proof of his success - see summit photo on
The squabble belies the Sherpa reputation for a mellow outlook on
life stemming from the accepting nature of their Tibetan Buddhist
religion and echoes western mountaineering culture. In many ways
though, it's not surprising. Most Sherpas have little interest in
mountaineering for its own sake and climb purely for the rich
financial rewards that it brings in what is an extrememly poor
Sherpa 'superstars' like the late Babu Chiri, who was sponsored by
Mountain Hardwear, and made no bones about his motivation for
climbing - which was essentially to be able to provide for his family
- have upped the ante. On top of that, increasing exposure to western
culture seems to have rubbed off on a younger generation of ambitious
details on the BBCi site.
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