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The Sherpas of Everest Series: Ang Rita Sherpa


The association of most of the Sherpas with the mountain begins from their childhood. I was orphaned in my teens which compelled me to accept mountaineering as a profession to support my family and supplement my meager income from farming marginal agricultural land in my village in Khumbu.

Ang Rita Sherpa

I entered into mountaineering profession in late childhood at the age of 15 as a porter.  My early childhood was spent driving yaks, carrying daily commodities and trading them in Tibet and taking care of farming. 

I recollect that first time I was hired as a low altitude porter for Dhaulagiri expedition. But had to take the job of high altitude porter carrying loads up to Camp III without shoes and other mountaineering  equipment. The climbing team recognized my hidden talents of mountaineering and praised the job I did for them. They complained with Sirdar for the lack of my mountaineering equipment at camp III and later supplied boots and other warm clothes which actually did not fit to me but I felt that now I am a mountaineer ready to climb big mountains. My success to reach Camp III on Dhaulagiri  made me feel that I can secure mountaineering as my profession in the future. 

For some time, I did not get much opportunity to work as a high altitude porter and all the trips were limited to smaller trekking peaks such as Island peak, Lobuche, Tukche etc. Although there were a few chances to go in major expeditions, the sirdar would not allow to go above camp II or the summit for the novice altitude porters. Despite my confidence on my strength  and capability on mountain, the circumstances always let me down. I had to endured humiliation on several occasions during the expeditions. Ultimately, I got an opportunity to work as a high altitude Sherpa for a Swiss expedition in Dhaulagiri which made me my dream come true with the summit on Dhaulagiri for two times splitting the teams into two groups and taking them to the summit turn by turn. It was my major accomplishment in mountaineering profession which gave me the rays of hopes for the future.

As the time went on, I worked as a low altitude porters with several expedition teams in Everest. I recollect that I was able to get to camp IV with a British Army expedition in Everest which I consider myself a mile stone for my success in Everest. My dream to step on the highest point on earth came true on May 7, 1983 while assisting a German - American expedition . My success to reach the summit of Everest without using bottled oxygen made me feel more secure of my profession and increased my confidence on mountaineering. My first autumn conquest of Everest was in 1984 with a Slovak team when my colleague Mr. Josef Demzan died while descending from the summit. On several occasions in my life I have felt very sad when there were moments of fatal accidents which claimed the lives of my colleague mountaineers. But I have always consoled myself that it is the way of a mountaineer's life. Based on this belief, the mountain accidents did  not deter me from continuing my exploits on the mountains. As a result, six months later on April 29, 1985, I helped Mr. Arne Naess, the leader of the first Norwegian expedition to step atop Sagarmatha in stormy climbing conditions.

Expeditions now gradually scouted for me for my experience sure-footed skills on mountain in their dream to climb the world's tallest peak. As a poor Sherpa without any formal education or training as a climber, I started accompanying  international celebrities in the mountains as I graduated to a guide from a porter. I successfully climbed Cho Oyu, Kangchenjunga, Makalu II with American, Spanish, German, Chilean expedition teams in 1986 and 1987. I returned to Everest and recorded my only winter ascent of the mountain in 1987/88 season while assisting a South Korean expedition. I recollect that I with a Korean climber lost the way in Everest due to bad weather and spent the whole night just below the summit doing aerobics exercises to keep our body active which is the only way to survive there. Ten months later I again summited Everest with a Catalan team on October 10, 1988. My sixth summit in the mountain was in 1990 helping the first all-Nepali army expedition. I accompanied  the first successful Chilean expedition to the top of world in the spring of 1992 and a Spanish team in 1993. My only ascent of the mountain from the north in Tibet was in 1995 spring helping a Russian-Ingosethian expedition. My latest (10 times summit without auxiliary oxygen ) and hopefully not the last, ascent of Everest was in 1996 helping the first Swedish expedition atop the mountain. Now, I feel that I cannot live active mountaineer's life as I did for the last 15 years, but if there is a special request by a good team  for Everest expedition and my health allows me, I wish to climb Everest which possibly could be my last attempt on Everest. 

My two sons Karsang Sherpa and Chhewang Sherpa have been following my foot steps in the mountain. I have personally trained them and they have already successfully climbed Everest, Cho Oyu, Shishapangma. 

I would like to inform you that after working as a climbing guide for so long, I with my Sherpa mountaineers have started our own trekking company in Kathmandu. As you know I have spent so many years holding an ice axe and ropes, crawling on snow and assisting mountaineers to the summit of the mountains for the last 20 years. What I have earned is the professional skills and experience in mountaineering which can be shared with mountaineers.

Regards, Ang Rita Sherpa

Contact Address: 

Ang Rita Trek & Expedition ( P ) Ltd.

P O Box 8544, Kathmandu, Nepal

Tel: 438163, Fax: 977-1-436167

URL: angritaexpedition.com


Ang Rita Sherpa was born in 1949, below are the list of his 10 summits of Everest. He also summited Kangchenjunga in Winter!


# DATE CLIMBER ROUTE Expedition Leader
1 May 7, 1983 Ang Rita Sherpa (1) without the use of bottled oxygen South East Ridge German/American Gerhard Lenser
2 Oct 15, 1984 Ang Rita Sherpa (2) without the use of bottled oxygen South Pillar, but descending the South east ridge Slovak František Kele
3 April 29, 1985 Ang Rita Sherpa (3) without the use of bottled oxygen South East Ridge Norwegian Arne Naess
4 Dec 22, 1987 (Winter!) Ang Rita Sherpa (4) without the use of bottled oxygen South East Ridge South Korean Hahm Tak-Young
5 Oct 14, 1988 Ang Rita Sherpa (5) without the use of bottled oxygen South East Ridge Spanish Lluis Belvis
6 April 23, 1990 Ang Rita Sherpa (6) without the use of bottled oxygen South East Ridge Nepalese Army Chitra Bahadur Gurung
7 May 13, 1992 Ang Rita Sherpa (7) without the use of bottled oxygen South East Ridge Chilean Mauricio Purto
8 May 16, 1993 Ang Rita Sherpa (8) without the use of bottled oxygen South East Ridge Spanish Josu Feijoo Gayoso
9 May 13, 1995 Ang Rita Sherpa (9) without the use of bottled oxygen North Col- North east ridge Russian Kazbek Khamitsayev
10 May 23, 1996 Ang Rita Sherpa (10) without the use of bottled oxygen South East Ridge Swedish Goran Kropp


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