On 21st September, Ang Rita Sherpa’s family informed of his demise – an overwhelming amount of tributes have been pouring from the national and international community for the legendary mountaineer since. Ang Tshering Sherpa, ex-President of Nepal Mountaineering Association called the tragedy a major blow to the mountaineering community of Nepal.
Ang Rita, aged 72 has a legacy of mountaineering feats behind him, and was nicknamed ‘Snow Leopard’ for his mountaineering skills.
He was the first person to climb Everest ten times (1983 – 1996) without using supplementary (bottled) oxygen. Sherpa was awarded with a Guinness World Record certificate in 2017 for the feat – his record still stands. He also achieved the first winter climb of the 8,848m (29,028ft) mountain without supplementary oxygen in 1987.
Ang Rita retired from mountaineering in 1996 – however, his love for the mountains remained. Post retirement, he worked in conservation projects which were aimed at protecting the Himalayas, and its biodiversity, mostly threatened owing to increased human activity and erratic climate patterns.
Ang Rita was also the recipient of Order of Gorkha Dakshin Bahu and Order of Tri Shakti Patta (Order of the Three Divine Powers), both conferred to him by Nepal’s monarch for his ‘distinguished contribution to the nation’.
Upon hearing the news of his demise, his friends, peers, and admirers have shared their tributes:
Nepal’s PM K P Sharma Oli, took to Twitter to express his condolence message.