Nawang Gombu is still alive at the time of
this article. He is married and living in Darjeeling, India. He was
born in 1936 in Minzu, Tibet. He is the business director of the
Institute established by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. Few people know he
was the son of Tenzing Norgay's oldest sister, Lhamu Kipa.
Therefore, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa was his Uncle!
A very brief overview of his
two summits of Everest are below...
American Expedition with Norman Dyhrenfurth as leader and
including A. Auten, Barry Bishop, Jake Breitenbach, J. Corbet,
D. Dingman, D. Doody, R. Emerson, Tom Hornbein, Lute Jerstad,
J. Lester, Willi Unsoeld, and Jim Whittaker. A huge
expedition, costing almost $400,000 and supported by the
National Geographic Society, over 900 porters carry 29 tons of
food and equipment to the base of the mountain. Base Camp is
established at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall on Mar 21 and
the route through the icefall prepared soon after. Jake
Breitenbach is killed by collapsing seracs in the Icefall but
the expedition continues. The expedition splits into two
parties - the West Ridgers and the South Collers.
Assault: May 1 From Camp 6 at 27,450 feet (8370 meters) on the
Jim Whittaker and
Nawang Gombu Sherpa reach the
summit in strong winds at 1 PM.
Whittaker becomes the first
American to summit Everest.
Indian Expedition, with Commander M.S Kohli as leader. On May
20, 1965 they succeed when A.S. Cheema and Sherpa Nawang Gombu
ascend the SE Ridge. Gombu becomes the first person to summit
Everest twice (the 11th and 17th summit). Out of the first
seventeen summits of Everest, Nawang had two of them!
Additional summits were achieved by Sonam Gyatso
Wangyal, C.P. Vohra, Ang Kami Sherpa, H.P.S. Ahluwalia, H.C.S. Rawat,
and Phu Dorje Sherpa.
Gombu Sherpa started his Everest career in 1960 as part of the India
Expedition to Everest lead by Gyan Singh.
Gombu reached a high point of 8625 meters on May 25th before turning
back due to high winds.
Nawang Gombu Sherpa
was also part of the 1982 American expedition that attempted Great
Couloir of Everest lead by Lou Whittaker. The expedition was
terminated when Marty Hoey died.