Babu Chhiri – Sherpa from Nepal, Mountain Guides
It was in 1965 that one of the most legendary climbers of all time, Babu Chiri (also spelled Babu Chhiri), was born among the Himalayan Mountains. As a young child living in the isolated village of Taksindu, much time was spent assisting his parents with the daily routine of farm life common to all children living in that area.
As a child, something that greatly fascinated him was the many strange people who passed through his village. These people looked like him, but were of a different height and color. It was only as a young man in search of work as a mountain porter that he would fully understand this “mystery” which had always been of great intrigue to him. Babu Chiri was a man with an eager desire to learn and so, with time spent at base camp, he began to grow in knowledge and understanding of the equipment that was used by mountaineers to successfully summit Mount Everest. His career officially started in 1998 when he made his first ascent of Mera Peak – the mountain had an elevation of 6,654 feet and from this point on he would never look back.
By the age of 35 he had accomplished the awesome ascent of Everest no less than 10 times. After this he became the fastest climber, shattering the earlier record of Kazi Sherpa who summated the mountain in just 21 hours. Babu was able do this in the amazing time of 16.56 hours – an incredible achievement which proved his unbelievable strength and capability as a professional climber. A particularly great accomplishment for Babu was the Guinness World record of reaching the summit of Mount Everest in 21 hours without the use of bottled oxygen.
Unfortunately Babu Chiri’s life came to a tragic end on the fateful morning of April 21, 2005 whilst trying to record his 11th successful expedition; he fell to his death into crevasse which was approximately 200 meters deep. It was his greatest dream to educate the youth in his village. This was something he felt very strongly about and so in memory of this great man, a school was constructed in his home village. The school is named the ‘Babu Chiri Bal Kalyan Primary School’ in his honor and today it is run by the Nepalese Government with support from the ESA.