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with Stefan Nestler

The fast Mingma

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa

He deserves more and more the nickname “The early starter”. While most of the others are still busy setting up their base camps in the Karakoram, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, head of the Nepalese expedition operator, Dreamers Destination, already last Sunday led a team to the 8125-meter-high summit of Nanga Parbat. The success on the ninth highest mountain on earth was the first of this summer season on the eight-thousanders in Pakistan. Also in the past spring season in Nepal and Tibet, Mingma had achieved the first 8000er summit success: On 30 April, the 31-year-old reached along with his team the summit of the 8167-meter-high Dhaulagiri. Not even two weeks later he stood with Tashi Sherpa and a client from China on the 8485-meter-high main summit of Makalu – also on this peak, Mingma was the first this spring.

Soon number twelve?

Summit of Nanga Parbat in evening light

Nanga Parbat was Mingma’s eleventh eight thousander. Except for Mount Everest – which he has summited five times so far – he has climbed them all without breathing mask. “I would also like to climb Everest without oxygen at least once,” the Sherpa told me recently. At first, however, he is ready to climb his eight-thousander number twelve. Coming from Nanga Parbat, Mingma set out with a team from Dreamers Destination to Broad Peak and K 2. His goal: He wants to climb also these two eight-thousanders this summer. The 8051-meter-high Broad Peak is still missing in Mingma’s collection. In 2014 he had already scaled the 8611-meter-high K 2, the second highest mountain on earth.

Making climbers from Nepal visible

Mingma on top of Makalu last May

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa belongs to a new generation of Sherpa entrepreneurs: young, well trained, reliable and successful. The 31-year-old has a mountain guide certificate of the world association UIAGM, his company Dreamers Destination enjoys a very good reputation in the climbing scene. In addition, Mingma is an excellent climber. In fall 2015 he made headlines by first climbing a difficult route via the West Face of the 6,685-meter-high Chobutse solo. Nepalese mountaineers are not appreciated as they actually deserve, says Mingma: “They are the reason for successful expeditions on 7000ers and 8000ers. But they remain invisible. I want to make them visible.” The Sherpa is still single: “I want to make my beautiful climbing memories first. Once I have family, I won’t be able to do that.”


17. June 2017 | 21:22