Nepalese climber Sanu Sherpa sets record atop Pakistan mountain

Sherpa becomes the first person to climb the world’s 14 tallest peaks twice after reaching top of Gasherbrum II.

Sanu Sherpa
Sanu Sherpa [Courtesy: Pioneer Adventure hiking company]

A 47-year-old Nepalese Sherpa has set a climbing record by scaling all the world’s 14 peaks higher than 8,000 metres (26,247 feet) for a second time, according to his agency.

On Thursday morning, Sanu Sherpa, who is from Sankhuwasabha district in east Nepal, reached the top of Pakistan’s Gasherbrum II, which at 8,035 metres is the 13th highest peak in the world, his Pioneer Adventure hiking company said in Kathmandu.

“He is the only person in the world to scale each of the 14 highest mountains twice,” Nivesh Karki, the company’s executive director told Reuters news agency.

Eight of the 14 highest peaks, including Mount Everest, are in Nepal. The other six are in Pakistan and the Tibet region of China.

In an interview with Everest Chronicle, Sherpa recounted how he started mountaineering after working as a porter for climbing expeditions.

“I simply love climbing,” he said. “It feels so good to be in the mountain.”

Members of the Himalayan Sherpa ethnic group have long been the backbone for Western expeditions to the top of the world’s tallest peaks, often pursuing the dangerous work of setting climbing ropes, guiding paying climbers and carrying equipment, to escape poverty.

In 2014, Sherpa guides staged a walkout over working conditions on Mount Everest after an icefall killed 16 Sherpas in a single incident. More recently, they have complained of dangerous overcrowding on the world’s tallest mountain.

Despite being known for climbing prowess, Sherpas for decades received little global recognition for their accomplishments in mountaineering.

That has begun to change in recent years as many Sherpa climbers have pursued more high-profile feats.

In 2019, Nimsdai “Nims” Purja led a team of Sherpas who climbed all of the world’s 14 tallest peaks in just six months and six days, setting a new world record.

In May, 48-year-old Lhakpa Sherpa, a Nepali who had worked as a porter on Mount Everest before moving to the United States, reached the iconic mountain’s summit for the 10th time, becoming the first woman in history to do so.

That came a week after Sherpa Everest guide Kami Rita, also a Nepalese national, summited the mountain for the 26th time, breaking his own world record for numbers of ascents.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies