Everest has many stories to tell and one of these is the account of Temba Tsheri. Unlike those who had climbed the slopes of Everest before him, Temba was the first to attempt a successful ascent of Everest at the tender age of fifteen. Needless to say, if he been successful he would have undoubtedly gone down in the Guinness Book of records for such an accomplishment. Unfortunately Tsheri was forced to abandon the expedition just meters away from completing his climb up the South East Ridge due to exhaustion, frostbite and deteriorating weather.
Temba Tsheri was bitten by the mountaineering bug at an early age. Much of his desire to climb was inspired by the many stories he heard his Father tell. His father told detailed and intriguing accounts of the many expeditions, challenges and the resulting fame as a Sherpa climber that his efforts had brought him. These stories proved to stay with him for the rest of his life, inspiring a career in climbing. Thus by the time he reached seventh grade, Temba attempted his first climb. Two of the members in his first attempt were those of his direct family: Chhewa Sherpa - his father, and Chhiring Sherpa – his elder brother. He was also joined by Phurbachhiri Sherpa, Dangima Sherpa and Ram Krishna Shrestha.
It was just before Temba made his last attempt to summit Everest that he recalls removing his gloves in an effort to tie his shoes. When he finally descended, the doctors were forced to amputate five of the seven fingers affected by frostbite. Unfortunately, much controversy has been created since then by members of the public. EverestNews.com is one of these who feel, “kids should not be climbing these 8000 meter peaks. It is just plain wrong in our opinion”.
There are many figures now attached to the mountain which give a fairly accurate record of just how many fateful deaths have been met by those with far more experience. This has contributed towards the general concern. Since the time of Tenzing Norgay, no less than 591 deaths have resulted from these mighty 8000 meter peaks. However this did not dampen Temba’s spirit and, just one year later in 2001, he successfully summited Mount Everest at the age of sixteen. This would still put him into the Guinness Book of World records as the youngest person since Shambu Tamang to make the climb.
Hopefully, like Temba’s second name ‘Tsheri’ which is a reference to the Tshe Ring symbolizing ‘long life’, Temba will carry on inspiring those surrounding him and keeping the traditions of his family close to his heart.