Nawang Gombu Sherpa was the youngest member of the 1953 expedition which made the first ascent of Mount Everest. He later reached the summit himself and subsequently became the first person to climb Everest twice.
In 1954 he was one of four team members chosen to accompany Tenzing Norgay to Switzerland for alpine training with Arnold Glatthard at Rosenlaui, in the Bernese Oberland. That year he also attempted the world’s fifth highest mountain, Makalu, with an American expedition.
Then in 1955 he had his first big success, making the first ascent, with an Indian expedition, of the 7,518m Saser Kangri, in the glacial region of northern Ladakh.
In 1960 he returned to Everest on the first Indian attempt, getting to within 100 tantalising metres of the summit.
On April 30, 1963 Gombu summited Mr. Everest, with an American team.
Success with the Americans widened Gombu’s horizons. He was welcomed with the team at the White House by President Kennedy and received the Hubbard Medal of the National Geographic Society, to wear alongside his earlier Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal.
In 1964 he reached the summit of Nanda Devi, the highest mountain wholly in India, and the source of the Ganges.
The following year he returned to Everest with the first Indian expedition to climb the mountain. This time the top camp was placed astonishingly high, just 350 metres below the summit, enabling Gombu and Capt AS Cheema to reach the top at 9.30am. Gombu had become the first person to climb Everest twice.
Nawang Gombu is a mountaineering legend, and he became the Director of Field Training at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, #Darjeeling.
During his life, he was awarded with – Padma Shree, Padma Bhushan, Arjuna Award, IMF Gold Medal and Tenzing Norgay Lifetime Achievement Award. edal and Tenzing Norgay Lifetime Achievement Award.
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