Pemba Dorje Sherpa – Sherpas in Nepal, Mountain Guides

Living among some of the most magnificent mountains in Nepal is a small group of people called the Sherpa. For over five hundred years, the Sherpas have made the Himalayan Mountain range their home and are well accustomed to the harsh terrain that they live in. The Sherpas are highly regarded for their physical endurance and their expertise in mountain climbing, and are an essential element for success when tackling some of Nepal's most challenging mountains.

These incredible men and women have set many records over the years for their quick and agile climbs up Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. One of these record holders is a man by the name of Pemba Dorje Sherpa. Over the years Pemba Dorje has climbed to the summit of Everest, Lhotse, Khumjung and other similar mountains in Nepal several times.

As an accomplished climber, Pemba Dorje has accompanied many expeditions into the mountains. In 1990 Pemba Dorje Shepa led a mixed group of Japanese and South Korean climbers up the South East Ridge route to the summit of Everest. Then again in 2001 he ascended the mountain with Canadian climber, James Todd Sampson, using the South East Ridge route. Two years later, Dorje joined Wang Yong-Feng and his group up Mount Everest. Interestingly, when he joined the Chinese expedition in 2003, Pemba Dorje Sherpa was twenty-six years of age. This just shows the strength and aptitude these people have for climbing.

In 2004 there was much controversy between Pemba Dorje and his rivals about his record breaking climb up Everest in an astonishing time of eight hours and ten minutes. This was not the first time that there had been a heated dispute between Pemba Dorje and another Sherpa about times they had recorded. The year before Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa broke Pemba Dorje’s record of 12 hours and 45 minutes by 1 hour and 49 minutes. After much argument the tourist ministry officiated the record with the help of the international climbing community.

A year later it was Pemba Dorje who was in the headlines after he broke Lhakpa Gelu Sherpas record by more then 2 hours forty. Lhakpa Gelu challenged his time as he felt it was near to impossible for anyone to reach the summit of Everest in such short a time. Again the Nepalese authorities were brought in to investigate and make a final decision as to the validity of such a claim. After examining the items brought down from the summit by Pemba and having considered the fact that there had been over 90 climbers using the route before him, leaving ropes behind and softening the snow, it was concluded that Pemba Dorje was the new record holder.

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