Legendary Ang Rita Sherpa passes away


Ang Rita Sherpa, known as the ‘Snow Leopard’ in the mountaineering sector, passed away on Monday morning at his residence in Jorpati. He was 72.

According to this family, Sherpa breathed his last at around 10:40am.

He had been suffering from brain and liver ailments for a long time and had been living with his daughter.

Born in the mountain village of Yillajung in eastern Nepal in 1948, he started his mountaineering career as a porter at the age of 15. Initially, he worked as low altitude porter for Dhaulagiri expeditions. Gradually, he started dreaming big and finally on 7 May 1983, he succeeded in scaling Mt Everest with a German-American team, without using bottled oxygen. Just four years later, he made his first winter ascent to the top of the world.

Sherpa went on to jointly establish his own trekking and expedition company — Ang Rita Trek and Expedition.

Sherpa was awarded with a Guinness World Record certificate in 2017 for making the most number of successful ascents on Mt Everest (8,848 m) without using supplementary oxygen. Sherpa made it to the top of the world for the 10th time without supplementary oxygen in 1996. And till date no one has been able to beat his world record.

Ang Rita’s Everest conquests




May 7, 1983

South-East Ridge


Oct 15, 1984

South Pillar, but descended from the South-East Ridge


April 29, 1985

South-East Ridge


Dec 22, 1987

South-East Ridge


Oct 14, 1988

South-East Ridge


Apr 23, 1990

South-East Ridge


May 13, 1992

South-East Ridge


May 16, 1993

South-East Ridge


May 13, 1995

North Col -North East Ridge


May 23, 1996

South-East Ridge

First Class Gorkha Dakshina Bahu and First Class Tri Shakti Patta were also conferred on Sherpa for his feats.

Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association, said, “The entire mountaineering community mourns the demise of the legendary mountaineer,” he said.

Tshering said Ang Rita’s body had been kept in a monastery in Sherpa Service Centre, Tusal — Boudha. The funeral ceremony will take place on Wednesday at 8:00am in Pachali Ghat, Teku.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli took to Twitter to express his condolences. “I am saddened by the demise of legendary Ang Rita Sherpa who had successfully scaled Mt Everest 10 times without using supplementary oxygen. I express my heartfelt condolence to his family and well-wishers. His records will always be remembered.”

Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai tweeted, “I am saddened to hear the passing away of legendary climber, Ang Rita Sherpa.

His contribution to mountaineering and tourism of Nepal is very big. Heart-felt condolences to the bereaved family.”

“We have lost the respected mountain guide Ang Rita Sherpa.

His contribution as a guide and climber has been incomparable.

He will always be remembered in the field of mountain tourism,” said Mira Acharya, director of Mountaineering Division of Department of Tourism.

Ang Rita is survived by two sons, a daughter and eight grandchildren.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 22, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.