Ang Rita Sherpa with his daughter Dolma Sherpa
Ang Rita’s 1948 birth took place in the eastern Nepal village of Yillajung. He married Nima Chokki Sherpa (Kanchi Sherpa) in 1969. They are parents of sons Chewang Dorjee Sherpa and Phunuru Sherpa. Their daughter is named Dolma. Ang Rita and Kanchi’s oldest son, Karsang Namgyal Sherpa passed away in 2012.
Mr. Sherpa, known by the nickname “Snow Leopard,” spent his earlier childhood driving yaks, carrying daily commodities, and trading goods in Tibet. He also assisted his family with farming tasks. At age 15, he began his work in the mountaineering profession by working as a porter and mail runner for expeditions. Later, he worked as a base camp kitchen boy and then became a Camp 2 Sherpa, Climbing Sherpa, Sirdar, Leader and eventually, Liaison Officer.
Mr. Sherpa has climbed Mt. Everest ten times without the use of supplemental oxygen. He made his sixth summit of Everest in 1990, setting the world record for the most number of successful ascents without additional oxygen. His tenth such summit was achieved in 1996. Ang Rita’s nickname was inspired by the hardiness of the snow leopard, which thrives in harsh, mountainous environments.
Message For the youth
If you are able to do other jobs well, I recommend that you do not choose to climb mountains. Unless people are truly committed to learning as much as they possibly can about mountaineering, it is not safe for them to choose that as their profession. I have seen too many people die on the mountains. This brings much pain and difficulties for the family members that are left behind. Education is the most important thing for you. Once you earn your certificate it will be your responsibility to work for the betterment of your family, your country and the world. Trekking and climbing jobs may be the easiest to find, but they are not the easiest to do. Regardless of your career choices, you must work to be healthy both physically and mentally.
Lastly, it is my hope that you will proudly seek knowledge about aspiring to live by the highest standards we hold within the Sherpa culture. This is a knowledge that comes from ancient times, not from newer generations. I hope that you will embrace this knowledge and that it will be reflected in your daily actions throughout your life.
Thank you Message
I am grateful to the following groups: Our Nepali government, The Nepal Tourism Board, and The Nepal Mountaineering Association. They have always treated me with respect. I am grateful for the staff and friends at Ang Rita Trek and Expedition. I have been so happy to know many Sherpa climbers who work hard to help clients during their expeditions. I am also grateful to the publisher of this book, Mr. Pasang Tshering Sherpa, for his efforts in creating a piece that will help more people know about the work and dedication of Sherpa climbers.
Message for International climbers
I have spent over 20 years holding an ice-ax and ropes, crawling on snow, and assisting other mountaineers in their endeavors to summit the great mountains. Over this time I have gained professional skills and expertise that I am able to share. I have joined with some of my fellow Sherpa mountaineers and now have a trekking company in Kathmandu.
My three sons – the late Karsang Sherpa (2012), Chhewang Sherpa (now living in the United States), and Phunuru Sherpa – have all followed in my footsteps in the mountains. I personally trained each of them and they have many successful climbs on their records for such mountains and peaks as Everest, Cho-Oyu, and Shishapangma.
I enjoy sharing my knowledge and helping others. It is also important to me to pass along the knowledge I have to the younger generations. If you would like to share my experiences, please contact me. I have hundreds of stories to share about expeditions and Sherpa culture.