The feat earned me the title of being the youngest climber to summit Mount Everest according to the Government of Nepal and the Guinness World Records. My record remains undefeated in Nepal, as the Government of Nepal now does not authorize anyone under 16 to climb Mount Everest. The Guinness record, however, has been defeated by Jordan Romero from America who summited Everest from Tibet when he was 13 years old in 2010.
Twenty years later, I have become a successful mountaineering entrepreneur operating Sherpa Khangri Outdoors, a trekking company that organizes expeditions to peaks above 8000 meters, at home and abroad. I completed my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Wuhan University of China.
For the work and expeditions, I have traveled to numerous countries, like China, Africa, Iceland, France, the UK, the US, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, among others. I can speak Chinese, English, Hindi and mother tongue Nepali.
Born on May 9, 1985, I was the second child of Chhauwa Sherpa and Lakpa Diki Sherpa. My father was primarily involved in the tourism sector, working as a cook in expeditions, and my mother took care of the home and the fields. With my brothers, Ningma Tsering and Nima Naru, I would help around the house. Every morning before heading to school, which was an hour’s walk away, we would tend to the fields, drop off the cattle to a nearby grazing field, collect firewood, and then head to school.
“Life was not easy then,” I remember, but it went on. During the warmer months, my family lived high up in the mountains. But when the trekking season ended and farming was not possible in the harsh weather, so we would migrate to villages in lower elevations.
Then, in the year of 1998, I went to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. My father was also working from Kathmandu and work was going well. I joined Pashupati Mitra Secondary School in class 5.
The pull towards mountains was so strong that at the tender age of 13 I enrolled a basic course in mountaineering at the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), being the youngest person to get such a certification. By the time I had already trekked many trails, including a couple of 6,000 meter peaks, along with my father and uncles.
After learning about my passion for mountaineering, I was also awarded a special scholarship by Siddhartha Vanasthali School in Kathmandu. The school’s principal Laxman Rajbhanshi offered me a full scholarship with accommodation and it is where I completed school education.
I completed my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Wuhan University of China.
It was in April, 2000, that we started the journey from Kathmandu towards Lukla, Solukhumbu, the gateway to Everest. Things looked optimistic, initially. After spending almost two months trekking, Climbing and acclimatizing in the region, my team felt it was time for the summit plan , it was now or never. For one major reason: If we didn’t do it then, we would run out of food — and oxygen.
I was exhausted by the time we were heading out of Camp 4, or South Col, as it is mostly known for the summit push. Owing to bad weather and fatigue, we had already spent three nights at the Camp, at 7,925m, also called the Death Zone. In mountaineering, the Death Zone refers to altitudes above a certain point where the pressure of oxygen is insufficient to sustain human life for an extended period of time.
At extreme altitudes, typically above 7,500m, sleeping becomes very difficult, digesting food becomes near impossible and the risk of losing bodily function and consciousness increases greatly, because the body uses up its store of oxygen faster than it can be replenished.
The Hillary Step, a famous near-vertical rocky outcrop on Everest's southeast ridge and the last major obstacle before the summit, was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. However, it no longer exists as it may have been destroyed by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in 2015.
We walked for almost 10-11 hours and reached at 11 am, which was not ideal at that altitude. My oxygen levels were depleted, and I knew I could have made it to the summit but might not have survived. The bad weather then forced me to turn back, 22 meters short of my goal. Unfortunately, I suffered frostbite and lost five fingers (three on the right and two on the left).
This was the year 2000, services for climbers were rudimentary, lacking communication systems, weather reports, helicopter rescues, or doctors on standby like there are now. Basic health facilities were only available at the base camp, and upon returning to Kathmandu with frostbitten hands, the doctors had no choice but to amputate them. Coping with this reality was challenging, as was the regret of coming so close to reaching the summit.
The North Ridge Route is the second-most popular route after the Southern Route. It is a difficult climb technically and requires a longer descent at high altitude but it avoids the dangers of the precarious Khumbu Icefall.
I failed the first time because we didn’t have enough money to be better prepared, but during the second time, I made sure we didn’t make the same mistakes. I learned how to take better care of myself in the harsh mountain environment.
Thus in the early hours of 23rd May, 2001, on a clear morning at around 8, I finally achieved my dream and later Gunniess World Record reconized me as the youngest climber to climb the Everest. I received an overwhelming response upon returning to Kathmandu and credited Thamserku Trekking and Sonam Sherpa for making it possible.
Before I left for my first expedition, I met with King Birendra the last king of the Shah dynasty that ruled Nepal for more than two centuries. For most Nepalis, the King was the very image of Lord Vishnu and he has been bestowed with the highest respect and reverence. He told me to not push myself too hard and that we would meet again after my expedition. But the King, and the entire royal family, were massacred on June 1, 2001, in one of the most tragic events in the pages of Nepal’s history.
Thus, after finishing my high school I left for Wuhan University where to study Bachelors of Business Administration.
I felt so home alone that in a couple of months, I ran away from university to home. But principal sir found out and insisted that I return to China and finish my studies.
Upon my return, I focused on learning the language and making new friends, realizing that he was not particularly skilled at academics. I was involved in extracurricular activities there. My four years in college taught me to step out of my comfort zone, appreciate Chinese cuisine, and speak Chinese fluently.
Despite these changes, my passion for mountain climbing remained the same.
I was the managing director of "Dreamers Destination," a Kathmandu-based expedition operator with a large group on Everest. The earthquake triggered a massive avalanche from Pumori that hit Everest Base Camp, killing three foreign clients and two Nepali staff members.
I was handling the first Chinese women's Everest expedition with a team of 25 foreigners and 45 Nepalis. I was excited to join them on April 29, but team members at Base Camp informed him that all had been lost, and they couldn't find anyone in the debris of the avalanche.
I learned that four were confirmed dead, but it was just the beginning of the bad news. The Base Camp, supposed to be the safest place in the mountains, had become a scene of chaos and tragedy. I had no idea how my parents were doing in Dolakha as I hadn't been able to contact them amidst all this.
In addition to running the trekking company, I am on a mission to climb the Seven Summits, which are the highest peaks on each continent. I have already conquered Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, and Denali in North America.
Despite the risks and tragedies associated with climbing mountains, I feel a strong connection to the Himalayas, where I was born and raised. As a Sherpa, I worships mountains and believe that climbing them tests one's limits and provides a unique sense of achievement.
Now, through my entrepreneurship firm, my aim is to share the experience of the Sherpa people and help others find a piece of heaven in the Himalayas.
After tragic and sudden of Earthquale in April 2015, I was very deeply sad to my country first , people's life and to my valuable guests . We had organised big group of Everest expedition but sad news hit me back. Later I was in Kathmandu then managed to keep control over my team then with the respectives families. The whole year of 2015 was sad along to it addition of disaster of Nepal Blockade which began on 23 September 2015 and lasted about six months. This hugely affected the lives of people this year that hasnot been recoverrd by earthquake . Its an addition on economic and humanitarian crisis that severely affected Nepal and its economy.
Nepal has accused India of imposing this undeclared blockade triggering to change the Nepali constitution, violent ethnic conflict, and Nepal's increasing cooperation with China. India has denied the allegations, stating the supply shortages have been imposed by own Madheshi protesters within Nepal. The blockade choked imports of not only petroleum, but also medicines , basic daily needs and earthquake relief material. By March 2016, fuel shipments were mostly back to normal.
After finally the tragic of 2015 two deadly disaster in Nepal, the tourism started slowly . Our team reunited again to give a marketing and group of Chinese Youko Film groups joint us for the Everest trek and Everest expedition . We handled it successfully . In autumn of October 2016 we ran another 7 groups of FITs and Groups trekking to Everest and Annapurna region . This showed slowly revive of back tourism in Nepal .
Spring of 2017 we ran successfully Manaslu expedition group and Everest expedition group. I was personally head member in Everest base camp . Likewise small treks and peaks climbing too had been successfully from our company.
Again this year we ran successfully Spring Everest expedition. Trek to Annapurna region Poonhill with Annapurna Base camp , Langtang with Gosaikunda and rugged trails off beaten Upper Dolpo in Autumn season was conducted successfully.
I and my team this year ran various seasonal trekking in Everest with 3 passes , Annapurna circuit , Mardi Trek, Manaslu circuit and Upper Mustang and peaks of Island and Lobuchhe throughout the seasonal year .
Just Nepal Government inagurated Visit Nepal 2020 in Jan 1st, the news from China and world started break out of Corona virus COVID-19. This affected all our bookings and many got cancelled. By March 2020 , the world became as STOPPED lockdown all over. I personally felt so fear and was worry about my family in village and had asked to keep precaution and care . Fully nearly of 3 years Nepal Tourism couldnt move on .
Slowly the tourism revive back and few PR bookings came along . I personally handled it and guided self to FIT PR group to April 2023 Everest trek . Back then with full on marketing and energtic plans for Autumn 2023 and 2024 we are BACK on .
I have been honored by various entities for my contributions to the field of mountaineering and tourism. In 2011, the government of Nepal awarded me as a ‘Goodwill Ambassador of Nepal Tourism year 2011’. I have also been nominated as a Brand Promoter for various companies, throughout the world. I have been awarded with the Ganesh Man Prativa Puraskar, Sundere Sherpa Rastriya Prativa Puraskar, and TAAN Everest International Award.
Despite his achievements, Temba remains humble and grateful for the love and attention he has received for his climb to the summit of Everest. For him, climbing the mountain was a personal dream rooted in his love for mountains and climbing.
Climbing Everest was a dream solely born out of my love for the mountains and climbing, and I had never imagined the kind of love and attention I would receive for climbing Everest. It was a historic moment for me personally and for the world.