Climbing Sherpas start getting summit certificates

KATHMANDU: Over 500 high-altitude climbing guides who made it to the summit of different mountains in recent years can now receive their summit certificates, officials at the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation have said.

According to DoT’s director general Dinesh Bhattarai, climbing Sherpas who accompanied the expedition members to the summit of different climbing peaks including Mt Everest in the last two years shall apply for their summit certificates at the DoT.

“The DoT can now issue certificates to the Sherpa summiteers after a revision to the Mountaineering Expedition Regulation was published in today’s gazette,” he said.

Earlier, the government had deprived more than 500 Sherpas, who successfully scaled mountains, including the world’s highest peak, of summit certificates, citing a clause of the Mountaineering Expedition Regulation that bars them from obtaining government certificates. But certificates were issued to Sherpas till 2015 for successful summit.

Following the criticism from all corners, the government had recently revised the regulation inserting a clause which allows Sirdars, mountain guides and high-altitude workers, who accompany expeditions to the top of the climbing peaks, including Mt Everest, to get their summit certificates.

In this undated photo, climbers are seen ascending a mountain. Photo: Purnima Shrestha/File
In this undated photo, climbers are seen ascending a mountain. Photo: Purnima Shrestha/File

Lakpa Sherpa (26), who along with a small team conducted a rare rescue above Camp II on the Mt Everest saving lives of Slovakian climbers Vladimír Štrba and Zoltán Pál on 10 May 2016, welcomed the government’s decision.

“Issuance of summit certificates certainly motivates Sherpa climbers who tirelessly worked for the expedition members in different mountains,” Sherpa, who also runs Pioneer Adventure Treks & Expeditions, reacted.

The seven-time Everest summiteer was a part of the world’s highest rescue mission coordinated by Australian climber Anthony Gordon.

Sherpa were the backbone of the Nepal’s climbing industry, he said, adding that they were the true leaders in the mountains. Born in Makalu VDC-9 of Sankhuwasabha district, Lakpa has summitted Mt Everest seven times including a summit from the north side and Mt K2 twice in 2012 and 2014.

He has also stood atop the summits of Mt Makalu, Mt Manaslu, Mt Dhaulagiri and Mt Amadablam three times each, while guiding the world climbers. “I will collect my papers from DoT in a day or two,” Sherpa quipped.