Thundu Sherpa dies on Ama Dablam
Once again the earth trembled on Monday in the Khumbu region around Mount Everest. The tremors with an intensity of 5.4, with the epicenter 19 kilometers west of Namche Bazaar, normally would not have caused panic, because small to medium scale aftershocks are almost everyday routine in Nepal after the devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015: 475 tremors with an intensity of 4 or more have been registered since then. Major damage was not reported after Monday’s quake. But there was also sad news: Due to the tremors Lhakpa Thundu Sherpa lost his life while climbing the 6814-meter-high Ama Dablam.
Wrong time, wrong place
Thundu was on a summit push along with a British client, above Camp 3 at 6,300 meters, when the quake triggered a hail of ice chunks. The 46-year-old Sherpa was hit on the head and died of the injuries. The British survived and could be brought to safety in a rescue operation by helicopter. “Both of them were very unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time”, British expedition operator Tim Mosedale wrote on Facebook. Both climbers belonged to his expedition group: “Five minutes either way and it would have just been a close call.” The shapely Ama Dablam, one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, has been a popular destination for commercial expeditions for years.
Climber and watchmaker
Lhakpa Thundu Sherpa came from the village of Pangboche, located about 4,000 meter high, near Ama Dablam. He was a very experienced high altitude climber. Thundu summited Mount Everest nine times (8850 m) – in 2006, 2007 and 2010 even twice within a few days – , in addition Cho Oyu (8188 m) twice, Manaslu (8163 m) and Annapurna (8091 m) once. He was also highly familiar with Ama Dablam, which he had scaled seven times. But his life did not only take place in the mountains. At times, Thundu also worked as a watchmaker of a luxury brand in Kathmandu. “Thundu was a special person,” writes German mountaineer and journalist Billi Bierling, who had reached the summit of the eight-thousander Cho Oyu in Tibet on 1. October along with Thundu. “He was very empathetic and open, and he told me a lot about his family and his temporary work as watchmaker. Even then he wanted to get away from the dangerous work of Climbing Sherpa, but his passion for the mountains brought him back to his original work.”
Donation campaign for Thundu’s family
She was shocked when the news of Thundu’s death reached her. “Without him,” says Billi, “I probably would not have reached the summit of Cho Oyu. Even though sadness is the predominant feeling at the moment, I am glad that I got to know Thundu and shared the special moment of my ascent with him (even though he sometimes blamed me for my slowness on the descent – rightly!). Thank you Thundu, I will never forget those special moments.” Thundu leaves behind his wife and two sons at the age of eight and 14 years. If you want to support his family, you can submit donations online very simply and unbureaucratically via Tim Mosedale’s aid project JustGiving. Just add the note “For Thundu”!
Date29. November 2016 | 17:22