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Mingma Sherpa: “It was my worst mistake”

Mingma on his ascent on Chobutse

Mingma on his ascent on Chobutse

No trace of euphoria. On Wednesday last week, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa reached – as reported in my blog – the 6,685-meter-high summit of Chobutse in Rolwaling Valley in Nepal, solo climbing and for the first time via the West Face – a milestone in the history of Sherpa climbing. But instead of being cheerful the 29-year-old is simply happy that he survived his solo ascent.

Mingma, you have already been on top of Mount Everest, K 2 and five other eight-thousanders. How challenging was your solo ascent on Chobutse?

I have climbed Everest with bottled oxygen and the other six 8,000-meter- peaks without the use of oxygen. When I climbed these high mountains, I did it with partners and on routes with fixed ropes. But a solo ascent means climbing alone in free style, there isn’t any fixed rope or climbing partner to save you if you make a mistake. A mistake means the end of your life. So it is itself challenging. It took me three years to decide to go for a solo climb. Finally, I made it this year. Climbing Chobutse was my worst decision and mistake. I almost lost my life. After my summit success, I spent two nights and days without food, water or tent. I spent two threatening nights and a day at the same place in a whiteout waiting for the weather to clear up. My only satisfaction is that I made it to the summit, though it was the hardest climb of my life.


2. November 2015 | 14:37



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