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 Everest 2010: Apa Sherpa Summits MT Everest for 20th time


22 May 2010 : Apa Sherpa, Climbing Leader of Eco Everest Expedition 2010 broke his own world record and reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest (8848m) for the 20th time at 08:34am on 22 May 2010. We are in contact with him (9:25am) and still he is on the Summit taking photoes and enjoying the panoramic views.  He started from Camp IV (South Col 7950m) at 12 Midnight on 21 May and reached summit along with Eco Everest Expedition Members (2)Mr.Arjun Vajpai, India (3)Miss Mamata Sodha-India (4) Mr.MikaPitkamaki, Finland, (5)Mr.Timo Allan Ilmari Jaatien, Findland (6) Mr.David Liano Gonzalez, Mexican (7)Mr. Pasang Temba Sherpa, Namche 7, Nepal (8) Mr. Pasang Rita Sherpa,Namche 9, Nepal (9) Mr. Phurba Tshering Sherpa, Namche 8, Nepal  (10) Mr.Tshering Phinjo Sherpa, Khumjung 1, Nepal (11)Mr.Samden Bhote, Shankhawa 2, Nepal (12) Mr.Sonam Tshering Sherpa, Khumjung 1 and (13)Mr.Sonam Tshering Sherpa – Chaurikharka 1, Nepal (14)Mr.Nawang Karsang Sherpa-Khumjung 1,Nepal. Arjun Vajpai, (16Year 11Month 18days) is the youngest Indian National to reached the Top of Mt.Everest. Arjun Vajpai, Tshering Phinjo Sherpa and Nima Tshering Sherpa started from Camp IV (South Col 7950m) at 10:24 pm on 21 May and they reached the Top of Mt. Everest at 06:33 am on 22 May.

Earlier Three Members of Eco Everest Expedition reached the Top of Mt.Everest on 17 May at 08:11am. They are: (1)Miss Cleonice Pacheco Weidlich (Origin Brassil) - USA  (2) Mr.Dawa Tshering Sherpa, Thame Village, Nepal  3.Mr. Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa, Khumjung 2, Nepal.

Similarly Three Member of Kazakh Lhotse Expedition 2010 reached the Top of Mt.Lhotse (8516m) on 16 May at 1:40 pm. The Members are: (1) Expedition Leader Mr.Maxut Zhumayev –Kazakhasta (2) Mr.Pivtsov Vassiliy – Kazakhastan and (3) Mr.Chekhlov Vladislav - Kazakhasta.

Asian Trekking family extends our hearty Congratulation to all successful Mt. Everest and Mt. Lhotse Expedition Summiteers. 

Apa Sherpa, SAARC Goodwill Ambassador for Climate Change carried the Nepal Tourism Year 2011 Campaign flag and WWF banner with the slogan “YOU HEARD OUR VOICE, NOW RAISE YOURS – WE CAN STOP CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE HIMALAYAS” to the summit of Mt. Everest to draw international attention for Nepal Tourism Year 2011 Campaign  and  Global Warming and Climate Change.  Eco Everest Expedition 2010 is led by two time Everest summiteers, Dawa Steven Sherpa, a passionate advocate of climate change issues.  Dawa Steven is the Managing Director of Asian Trekking (P) Ltd. and also a WWF Climate for Life Ambassador.

The Eco Everest Expedition is organized by Asian Trekking and focuses on climbing in an eco-sensitive manner and field testing different eco-sensitive methods to be adopted while climbing in the Himalaya.  This year, the expedition brought down to base camp nearly 5000 kilos of old garbage. The expedition has also brought down all the human waste produced by the expedition’s climbers and Sherpa. The expedition advocated for other expeditions to follow suit. In this effort, the Eco Everest Expedition also supplied other expeditions on Mt. Everest with Restop Bags (toilet bags).

In 2008, Eco Everest Expedition team brought down 965 kilos of garbage, including 75 kilos of human waste from above base camp. Similarly in 2009 Eco Everest Expedition brought down 6000 kilos of garbage under the “Cash for Trash” program which included 115 kilos of human waste produced during the expedition. The same year wreckage of an Italian Army helicopter was also recovered from the edge of the Khumbu Icefall (5486m). The helicopter had crashed between Camp I and Camp II (approx. 6200m) on Mt. Everest during the Italian Everest Expedition in 1973.  This probably demonstrates the movement of the Khumbu Icefall(5450m) 1.3 kilometer over the past 37 years. The Eco Everest Expedition team brought down 700 kilos of wreckage of the helicopter.  Since 2008 until today Eco Everest Expedition brought down more than 12,000 kilos of previous expedition garbage and more than 300 kilos of human waste produced by Eco Everest Expedition from Mt. Everest for proper disposal. The main sponsored of the garbage collection for 2008 and 2009 by Asian Trekking and 2010 by Asian Trekking, Reinhold Messner, The North Face and The Alpine Conservation.

Having suffered personal loss of home and property during the Dig Tsho Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) on 3 August 1985, a direct result of the melting of himalayan glaciers, he has been active in raising awareness about the impacts of climate change on the fragile mountain environment and the mountain communities.

The annual program of "Beat the GLOF Action Run and Save the Himalaya – Khumbu Festival" is going to be held on 4 June 2010 in the Khumbu of the Mt. Everest region. The event will be organized by iDEAS; a NGO formed by Dawa Steven Sherpa and Sherwi Yondhen Tshokpa; a network of Sherpa students. Hundreds of local, national and international runners will starts the Action Run from Khumjung and the run route will follow as closely as possible the path of a GLOF of potentially very dangerous Glacial Lakes such as Imja Lake, Ngozumpa Lake Or Dig Tsho is to burst its banks. On the same day Save the Himalayas-Khumbu Festival will be held in Khumjung village with the support of various organizations. Youth groups from the Khumbu are competing in the traditional song/dance competition. The purpose of the festival is to promote and preserve the mountain culture and tradition. The event is sponsored by North Face, Asian Trekking, Nepal Mountaineering Association, Himalayan Eco Resort-Phakding & Khumjung, Agni Air, Camp De Base Namche, Paradise Lodge-Lukla and Lavilla Sherpani-Lukla.

Kind regards,

Ang Tshering Sherpa


Asian Trekking (P) Ltd


A press conference to address Apa Sherpa’s 20th summit on Mt. Everest as the Climbing Leader of Eco Everest Expedition 2010 was held at Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu on April 1, 2010 in the presence of Honorable Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Sarat Singha Bhandari.


Mr. Prachanda Man Shrestha; CEO of Nepal Tourism Board welcomed and highlighted on the program by briefing the achievements and contribution of Mr. Apa Sherpa and Dawa Steven Sherpa. He also wished for the success of Eco Everest Expedition 2010.


At the function Minister Bhandari handed over the Nepal Tourism Year 2011 Flag to Mr. Apa Sherpa which he will carry to the summit of Mt. Everest during his record climb. He also presented Mr. Dawa Steven Sherpa the “International Olympic Committee Award for Sports and Environment.” The International Olympic Committee honoured Mr. Sherpa with this award for his contributions and efforts in the field of sports and environment. In his speech Minister Bhandari remarked and appreciated the attempt of Mr. Apa Sherpa and Mr. Dawa Steven Sherpa to give the message of Nepal Tourism Year 2011 from world’s highest peak (Mt. Everest). He also praised their exemplary work on Eco Everest Expedition and wished for the grand success of the expedition.




 On behalf of The Himalayan Trust and Sherpa Community, Mr. Ang Rita Sherpa, Chairman of Himalayan Trust, Nepal, handed over ashes of Late Sir Edmund Hillary / a memento of Gautam Buddha to Mr. Apa Sherpa to be placed on the summit of Mt. Everest. He stated that it was the wish of Late Sir Edmund Hillary that his ashes be scattered only in two places; in the sea near his Auckland home, and in the mountains of Nepal where he tirelessly toiled and made huge personal sacrifices to uplift the lives of the mountain people. He further stated that it would be a tribute to such a great person if we could fulfill his wish and also prayed that may his soul rest in peace.

During the program Mr. Dawa Steven Sherpa highlighted on plans and purposes of Eco Everest Expedition 2010 which is making its way towards initiation under his leadership, Apa Sherpa (World Record holder for 19 ascents of Mt. Everest) as the climbing leader and Nanga Dorje Sherpa as Sirdar. With the motive of cleaning Mt. Everest and Khumbu region, he made an attempt 2 years before through Eco Everest Expedition 2008 and has been continuing this initiative to create awareness among the local people and among the climbers to help keep Mt. Everest and the Khumbu clean. As in previous years, the expedition team plans to collect and bring down garbage from high altitudes. The team targets to bring down 6000 kilos of garbage from Camp 2 and below under the “Cash for Trash” program and 1000 kilos of garbage from above Camp 2 under the ”Cleaning up Everest” program. The expedition will be using the highly successful alternative energy solutions like the parabolic solar cookers and the SteriPENs for water purification. The Expedition Team is scheduled to fly for Lukla on 6th April. 

He also thanked Rheinhold Messner (Messner Mountain Museum), The North Face and The Alpine Convention for sponsoring and WWF for endorsing the expedition and helping in keeping Mt. Everest and Khumbu clean. Besides that Mr. Apa Sherpa also seemed proud and pleased to climb Mt. Everest for the 20th time and setting a new world record.

Earlier: Dear EverestNews.com

Namaste and warm greetings from Nepal.

I am delighted to inform you that finally the Spring Expedition Season starting soon and I am pleased to share with you many interesting and positive news from Nepal.

Apa Sherpa, World Record Holder for 19 ascents of Mt.Everest and Climbing Leader of Eco Everest Expedition is heading for 20th Summit on Mt.Everest this Spring and Asian Trekking family extends their all support and wishes for the success.
Eco Everest Expedition: Once again this year Asian Trekking is organising the Eco Everest Expedition (2010). Under the leadership of Dawa Steven Sherpa, Apa Sherpa (19 times Everest Summiteer: world record holder) as the Climbing Leader and Nanga Dorje Sherpa as Sirdar. The focus will be on climbing in an eco-sensitive manner, bringing old garbage, and all human waste produced on the mountain down to base camp for proper disposal. The expedition will once again be using the highly successful alternative energy solutions like the parabolic solar cookers and the SteriPENs for water purification. This year Dawa Steven and his Eco Everest Expedition team has planned to focus to collect and bring down previous expedition garbage between the altitudes of 6500 m and above. A team of 10 high altitude Sherpas will be hired to clean up garbage and debris from such high altitudes. Eco Everest Expedition 2009 team had brought down nearly 6000 kilos of  previous expedition garbage from Mt. Everest under the Cash for Trash program. This year's Eco Everest Expedition targets to bring down 1000 kgs of debris from high altitude above Camp 2 (6500m) and 6000 kgs of debris from Camp 2 and below.
Since the Spring Season is approaching very closed, The following are the expedition Teams Confirmed up to today through Asian Trekking:
1. Eco Everest Expedition
2. Kazakh Lhotse Expedition
3. International Everest Expedition 1
4. International Everest Expedition 2
5. International Cho-oyu Expedition
6. International Shishapangma Expedition
7. Chilean Amadablam Expedition
8. Korean Himlung Expedition
9. German Cho-oyu Expedition
Beat the GLOF Event and Save the Himalaya Khumbu Festival will be held at Khumjung village on 4 June 2010 instead of 10 - 11 June. The date for this event has been postponed for the convenience of the guests of 3rd International Sagarmatha (Mt.Everest) Day Celebration, which will be held on 29 May 2010, to participate in Beat the GLOF Event and Save the Himalaya Khumbu Festival. The event will be celebrated with various programs which focus on the mountain communities, the mountain environment and the impacts of climate change on them. The event will be supported by Idea,Nepal Tourism Board, Sagarmatha National Park, and many non government organizations.
2nd New International Airport in Nepal:  Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation held a ceremony on March 7, 2010 where an agreement was signed between The Government of Nepal, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, and Land Mark Worldwide Co. Ltd., Korea. The agreement was on the detailed feasibility study of the second international airport at Dhumberwana, Nijgadh; a town situated in Bara District, 84 kilometers south-east from Kathmandu.  The feasibility study will have to be completed within 10 months from the date of agreement signed.  
Nepal Tourism Year 2011 was officially launched on February 26, 2010 and preparations have already begun which is sure to make way for improvements in Nepal’s Tourism. All the political parties of Nepal including the Unified Maoist Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) have signed an agreement committing not to call any bandhs or any such strikes that affect the tourists during the period of Nepal Tourism Year.
Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA),TAAN and EOAN  have appealed and suggested to The Government of Nepal to help solve many problems prevailing in the Nepalese mountain tourism. Among the many requests made following are the main ones.
A) Since 16 July 2008, the Government of Nepal waived off royalty of the opened peaks in the Midwestern and Farwestern Nepal for five years (till 16 June 2013) which shows good sign of positive developments in these region. Similarly it was requested to reduce the royalty fee of the peaks which is less crowded specially on the border of Nepal. It has been requested to The Government of Nepal to manage free permit to climb Mt. Cho-yu for five years from Nepal side.
B) The Tourism Council in the Chairmanship of The Right Honourable Prime Minister had a meeting where the necessity of operating mountaineering activities through one door policy was accredited. The meeting was decisive in implementing this policy in order to create a favourable environment for the climbers.
C) All associations has requested for permission to make the peaks up to 5999m high permit free and also to handover the management of peaks that are between 6000 to 6700 m to Nepal Mountaineering Association. 
D) It has been suggested to The Government of Nepal to reduce the fees of communication equipments such as walkie-talkies, satellite telephone, radios, video cameras, documentary filming, mountain filming etc. and equipments used by climbing expeditions. 
E)  3rd International Sagarmatha(Mt.Everest) Day Celebration will be held on 29 May 2010 with various programs. We expect more than 250 Mt.Everest summiteers, including renowned climbers like Chris Bonington, Peter Habelar, Apa Sherpa, Min Bahadur Serchan, Dawa Steven Sherpa, Bill Burke, David Liano, to attend the program. To honour the Mt. Everest summiteers a request letter has been sent to The Government of Nepal asking to provide them free visas every time they visit Nepal. The summiteers will be regarded as the Goodwill Ambassadors of Nepal to promote Nepalese mountain tourism.
F) Mt. Dhaulagiri Golden Jubilee will be celebrated on May 13, 2010 in Pokhara. Noted climbers like Kurt Diemberger (first summiteer of Mt. Dhaulagiri), and Reinhold Messner are the Guests of Honour and many other renowned climbers will be present to celebrate Mt. Dhaulagiri Golden Jubilee. On this occasion, it is requested that there should be a 50% concession on royalty for all the climbers of Mt. Dhaulagiri. Likewise the Summiteers of Mt Dhaulagiri should be provided free visas from 2010 to 2011.
Finally I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to the Prime Minister and The Government of Nepal for nominating me as the member of National Tourism Council and my son Dawa Steven Sherpa as the member of Climate Change Council to the Prime Minister.
I am also thankful to the International Olympic Committee and Mr. Jacques Rogge, president of The International Olympic Committee for presenting Dawa Steven Sherpa the “International Olympic Committee Award for Sports and Environment.”
With kind regards,
Ang Tshering Sherpa


Everest from the South Side in Nepal

Base Camp - 17,500 feet (5350 meters)

This is a picture of the popular South Col Route up Mt. Everest.  Base camp is located at 17,500 feet.   This is where climbers begin their true trip up the mountain.  This is also where support staff often remain to monitor the expeditions and provide medical assistance when necessary.  Many organizations offer hiking trips which just go to base camp as the trip is not technically challenging (though you must be very fit). 

From base camp, climbers typically train and acclimate (permitting the body to adjust to the decreased oxygen in the air) by traveling and bringing supplies back and forth through the often treacherous Khumbu Icefall.    This training and recuperation continues throughout the climb, with the final summit push often being the only time to climbers do not go back and forth between camps to train, bring supplies, and recuperate for the next push. 

The Icefall is in constant motion.  It contains enormous ice seracs, often larger than houses, which dangle precariously over the climbers heads, threatening to fall at any moment without warning, as the climbers cross endless crevasses and listen to continuous ice creaking below.  This often acts as a testing ground to judge if less experienced climbers will be capable of continuing.   The Icefall is located between 17,500 and 19,500 feet.

Camp I - 5900 meters

After the Icefall, the climbers arrive at Camp I, which is located at 19,500 feet.  Depending on the type of expedition, Camp I will either be stocked by the climbers as they ascend and descend the Icefall, or by Sherpas in advance.

The area between Camp I and Camp II is known as the Western Cwm.  As the climbers reach Camp II at 21,000 feet, they may be temporarily out of sight of their support at Base camp.  Nonetheless, modern communication devises permit the parties to stay in contact.

Camp II - 6500 meters

As the climbers leave Camp II, they travel towards the Lhotse face (Lhotse is a 27,920 foot mountain bordering Everest).  The Lhotse face is a steep, shiny icy wall.  Though not technically extremely difficult, one misstep or slip could mean a climber's life.  Indeed, many climbers have lost their lives through such mishaps. 

Camp III - 23,700 feet (7200 meters)

To reach Camp III, climbers must negotiate the Lhotse Face. Climbing a sheer wall of ice demands skill, strength and stamina. It is so steep and treacherous that many  Sherpas move directly from Camp II to Camp IV on the South Col, refusing to stay on the Lhotse Face.

Camp IV - 26,300 feet (8000 meters)

As you’re leaving C4…it’s a little bit of a down slope, with the uphill side to the left. There are typically snow on the ledges to walk down on, interspersed with rock, along with some fixed rope. The problem with the rope is that the anchors are bad, and there’s not much holding the rope and a fall could be serious. Fortunately it’s not too steep, but there is a ton of exposure and people are usually tired when walking down from camp. The rock is a little down sloping to the right as well, and with crampons on, it can be bit tricky with any kind of wind. There’s a little short slope on reliable snow which leads to the top of the Geneva Spur, and the wind pressure gradient across the spur can increase there as you’re getting set up for the rappel. Wearing an oxygen mask here can create some footing issues during the rappel, because it’s impossible to see over the mask and down to the feet. For that reason, some people choose to leave Camp 4 without gas, as it’s easier to keep moving down the Spur when it’s important to see all the small rock steps and where the old feet are going. Navigating down through all of the spaghetti of fixed ropes is a bit of a challenge, especially with mush for brains at that point. One lands on some lower ledges which aren’t so steep, where fixed ropes through here are solid. At this point, it’s just a matter of staying upright, and usually, the wind has died significantly after dropping off the Spur. The route turns hard to the left onto the snowfield that leads to the top of the Yellow Bands.

Camp IV, which is at 26,300 on the Lhotse face, is typically the climbers' first overnight stay in the Death Zone.  The Death Zone is above 26,000 feet.  Though there is nothing magical about that altitude, it is at this altitude that most human bodies lose all ability to acclimate. Accordingly, the body slowly begins to deteriorate and die - thus, the name "Death Zone."  The longer a climber stays at this altitude, the more likely illness (HACE - high altitude cerebral edema - or HAPE - high altitude pulmonary edema) or death will occur.  Most climbers will use oxygen to climb and sleep at this altitude and above.  Generally, Sherpas refuse to sleep on the Lhotse face and will travel to either Camp II or Camp IV.

Camp IV is located at 26,300 feet. This is the final major camp for the summit push.  It is at this point that the climbers make their final preparations.  It is also a haven for worn-out climbers on their exhausting descent from summit attempts (both successful and not).  Sherpas or other climbers will often wait here with supplies and hot tea for returning climbers.

From Camp IV, climbers will push through the Balcony, at 27,500 feet, to the Hillary Step at 28,800 feet.  The Hillary Step, an over 70 foot rock step, is named after Sir. Edmond Hillary, who in 1953, along with Tenzing Norgay, became the first people to summit Everest.  The Hillary Step, which is climbed with fixed ropes, often becomes a bottleneck as only one climber can climb at a time.  Though the Hillary Step would not be difficult at sea level for experienced climbers, at Everest's altitude, it is considered the most technically challenging aspect of the climb.

Summit - 29,028 feet (8848 meters)

Once the climbers ascend the Hillary Step, they slowly and laboriously proceed to the summit at 29,028 feet.  The summit sits at the top of the world.  Though not the closest place to the sun due to the earth's curve, it is the highest peak on earth.  Due to the decreased air pressure, the summit contains less than one third the oxygen as at sea level.  If dropped off on the summit directly from sea level (impossible in reality), a person would die within minutes.  Typically, climbers achieving the great summit will take pictures, gain their composure, briefly enjoy the view, then return to Camp IV as quickly as possible.   The risk of staying at the summit and the exhaustion from achieving the summit is too great to permit climbers to fully enjoy the great accomplishment at that moment.  

As most readers of this page know, the return trip can be even more dangerous than the climb to the summit.

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