Kushang Dorjee Sherpa is a renowned Nepal-born Indian mountaineer. His achievements and life story have influenced the lives of many people, especially from the mountaineering community, worldwide. He is the first ever to summit the Everest from three different routes. Likewise, he has successfully climbed the tallest peak in the world five times in his life. What’s more, his mountaineering career was never only rainbows and butterflies. Sherpa had to undergo different sorts of struggles throughout his life.
Furthermore, besides being a mountaineer, Kushang is also an HMI instructor. Win Whittaker writes about Kushang, “He is an HMI instructor whose life is filled with heart-wrenching experiences at the world’s highest peaks.”
If you want to learn more about Kushang Dorjee Sherpa, make sure to read till the end of this article!
Who is Kushang Sherpa?
Kushang Dorjee Sherpa is a mountaineer and an HMI instructor. He was born on 15 Feb 1965 in Makalu Area, Nepal. Growing up in Walung village, life was never easy for the mountaineer growing up. He was sold to Bhutan’s labor market by a contractor. It was not easy for him to escape as he was very young during that time. Hoping to do better in his life, Sherpa ran away from the camp at the tender age of 14. He went on to work as a porter for an expedition that was passing from his village soon after he was away from home. As a shaman had once said, Kushang had the zeal to escape from the trap in Bhutan and to become the “king of Everest.”
This event triggered his passion for the mountains. With time, Kushang bettered his mountaineering skills and became the first person to ascend Mount Everest from three routes in 1998. There had not been anyone who had succeeded in doing so before himself. This gave him further recognition among influential people in the world of mountaineering. With time, he also became an instructor. His first ascent was of Mount Nanda Devi in 1991. Sherpa shared in an interview that the climb to Nanda Devi Peak was very technical and difficult.
Moreover, the climb was not meant for a beginner, and it was tough for the mountaineer to go forth and back to and from there. To a lot of people, Kushang’s life seems like a success story on the surface level, but it has taken years for Sherpa to get where he wants to be in his life.
Kushang Sherpa is living in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India at present. Sherpa is not quite engaged in mountaineering activities as of now.
Kushang Sherpa Mount Everest Summit from 3 Different Routes
A lot of mountaineers tend to climb and summit Mount Everest from a single route. While a lot of people tend to avoid the North route of the mountain, which has been known for its high death rate, Kushang defied the odds and proved to the world that anything you put your heart into is possible. Sherpa climbed the mountain and reached the summit from the standard southeast ridge route on May 10, 1993.
Then, his second summit took place from the standard northeast ridge route on May 17, 1996. He ascended and went atop the peak for the third time through the standard south east ridge on 28 May, 1998. Likewise, his fourth ascent was from the east face (Khangsung face) on May 28, 1999. The final one was also his solo successful ascent of the peak. He again climbed Mount Everest from the North Ridge, which is one of the deadliest routes on the mountain, in 2003.
Ascending Mount Everest, according to Kushang, was the toughest from the Khangsung face. He recalls having slept on ice for 45 days during his journey to the summit. Fixing rope for only 45m was possible at the time. Hence, the team he went with had to struggle to get to their destination. Kushang also had to wake up at 4 o’clock every morning to make his way to and from the mountain. One of the biggest challenges during the climb from the Khangsung route was the chance of going through an avalanche since the route is also known as an “avalanche zone.”
Though a first-generation climber, Sherpa has set a legacy that is not quite easy to beat by any other.
Kushang Sherpa Land Controversy
Having been living in a place where Everesters are rewarded land, Kushang had to go through some controversial situations in his attempt to claim land for himself.
He said in an interview with Telegraph India about the same situation in 2006, “After I climbed the peak in 1999, I approached the government for a plot of land. Over the years, I have met everyone from the chief minister to the sports minister, but it is all taking a bit too long. When the government could not find any land for me, they told me to identify a plot that they said would be sanctioned in my name. I identified a plot below the Circuit House here, but the Public Works Department, which owns the land, did not give me a no-objection certificate. I have now identified a plot near the district magistrate’s office, and I hope I will get a clearance this time around. ”
While he remained bound in the struggle of seeking what he always thought was his right, the officials said that it is not always possible for every Everester to get a plot of land when none is available. Anyone who has been rewarded with a plot of land is the one who made a claim at the time of the land’s availability.
View this post on Instagram
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where is Kushang Sherpa now?
Kushang Sherpa is living in Darjeeling, West Bengal, in India now.
Is Kushang Sherpa Indian?
No, Sherpa is from Nepal. He eventually moved to India.
Was Kushang Sherpa’s first ascent of Mount Everest?
No, Kushang Sherpa climbed Nanda Devi Peak for the first time in his life.
How old is Kushang Sherpa now?
Kushang Sherpa is 58 years old as of 2023.
What award does Kushang Sherpa have?
Kushang Sherpa has won the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award from the Government of India.