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  EverestHistory.com: Sambhu Tamang


1973: Italian Expedition. Another huge expedition with sixty-four members led by Guido Monzino. Helicopters are used to shuttle equipment past the Khumbu Icefall and one hundred Sherpas are also employed. Eight climbers succeed via the South Col Route, including 16 year old Sambhu Tamang of Nepal. It is later revealed that Sambhu was actually 18.

In 1960, Chu Yin-Hua claimed to have reached the Summit on May 25th at the age of 25 years 55 days old. His summit, along with all the 1960 Chinese Summits were disputed for years. No Summit picture exists to this day. In 1965 Sonam Wangyal on May 22nd claimed the record at 23 years 134 days old.

Then things get real interesting. Sambhu Tamang summits on May 5th, 1973. Many report, for years, record his age to be 16 years old. Many still report him to be have been 16 when he reached the summit! It is now believed he was around 18. If you check different sources you will find ages from 16-19! Interesting Sambhu summits a second time on 8/28/1985, 12 years later. Possibly the longest time between summits, but let's not go there either.

Some examples: We will pick on the BBC: In a BBC article on Saturday, March 27, 1999 they state "Sambhu Tamang in 1973 who was 17 when he climbed Everest". On Thursday, 13 April, 2000 the BBC reported, "Shambhu Tamang, who achieved the feat in 1973 at the age of 17."  In another article on Monday, 12 June, 2000 "Tamang reached the summit at the age of 18". On Thursday, 24 May, 2001 the BBC state, " Temba Tseri [Temba Tsheri ] at 15 and Tamang had climbed Everest from the Nepalese side when he was 17.  We could have picked numerous others sources....

It should be noted we have no idea why Sambhu's age has been reported so differently over time. It could have been for several reasons, we don't know the reasons.

Bertrand (aka Zebulon) Roche summited Everest on 10/7/90 at 17 years 217 days old. However, because of the error in Sambhu age by many, Bernard was not considered the youngest to Summit Everest by many.

Then there is Temba Tsheri Sherpa!! Many have reported him to be 15 or 16? Well is the youngest climber 15 or 16? Seems like a simple question. We made a note to work on it when time permitted. 

A couple of weeks ago we called on Bikrum Pandey to ask; "I have been sitting here with Temba Tsheri Sherpa, the youngest man on earth to have climbed Mt. Everest. With me is Kaji Sherpa..."

"Going back to your questions. In Nepal ages are determined after the year of the birth which is recorded by mother, family and the Holy Priest doing the baptism. In Nepal's mountain villages there are no health clinics and proper hospitals where professional medical people attend deliveries. People are born everyday and year, their record keeping system is traditional but accurate."

"In 2001 Temba Tsheri Sherpa reached the summit on May 23rd. He was 16 years 14 days of age. His date of birth is May 9, 1985. This is his real age claimed by him and his passports has been made accordingly. Temba Tsheri climbed Everest North Ridge together with French Group. On the summit day he was climbing with the Spanish guy, Sergie Mingote and Thelin Sherpa from Makalu. On the summit he says he met TB Budhathoki climbing from South Ridge. There were nearly 8-10 people on the summit that day, says Temba Tsheri. I am talking with Kaji Sherpa and Kaji says that in Sherpa Society reducing the age is a sinful act, rejected by the Sherpa Community. So, Kaji believes that in Sherpa community nobody reduces the age."

"I was also talking to Tashi Zangbu Sherpa, President of Nepal Mountaineering Association. According to him in Climbing or Mountaineering world, it is the climbing person who tells the world who he is, what is his age and how he climbed the summit of a mountain. The receiving world takes it  and accepts it. That's the continuing Reality." [Well yes unless disputed or checked.] Bikrum

So Temba Tsheri Sherpa Summit is not disputed and EverestNew.com will accept his age at 16 years 14 days of age when he reached the Summit of Everest.

And how old was Sambhu Tamang summits on May 5th, 1973???? [He was 18...and from what we have been able to find out, he never claimed different....] Who made the error(s) that prevented Bertrand (aka Zebulon) Roche from getting the respect he earned????

Sambhu Tamang was born in 1955. He currently lives in Kathmandu, Nepal. He summited Everest a second time on August 28, 1985. The TAMANGS, are people who are alleged to be one of the oldest inhabitants of the hills north of Kathmandu. The areas of Lantang, Ganesh Himal and Helembu and the surrounding area comprising the rim of the valley. The TAMANGS were part of the 1953 Everest expedition lead by Sir Edmund Hillary and were once again placed in the history of Everest, when SAMBHU TAMANG, the 18 years old boy became the YOUNGEST person (at the time) ever to reach the summit of EVEREST in 1973.

An interesting story on expedition: Everest 1973 Expedition and the Everest Helicopter! and More great pictures from the Everest 1973 Expedition and the Everest Helicopter

Altitech2: Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms. Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032 battery. See more here.
 




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