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Mount Everest stands proud among the Himalayan peaks.

Famous sherpas visit West Clare

THE world’s most prolific climbers are currently in Ireland speaking about their death-defying experiences in the Himalayas.

Nepalese heroes Mingma Sherpa and Pasang Sherpa have travelled here to speak about their efforts to rebuild the renowned Rolwaling valley area since the devastating earthquake struck on April 25, 2015. They adressed an enthusiastic gathering at the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point on Saturday night last.

The community have been working tirelessly to rebuild their village and their livelihoods and they are hoping to promote tourism in Nepal through Ascent Himalayas, Nepal Tourism Board and the Nepal Ireland Society.

Tourism is the key back bone of Nepal’s economy and is a much needed source of foreign currencies, especially in the aftermath of the unprecedented natural disaster that crumbled the country’s economy and shattered the livelihoods of those living in the mountains.

Climbing is currently changing dramatically in Nepal, with many sherpas setting up their own companies instead of working for western-based ones. The increase in training to international climbing standards for sherpas is also helping to progress this.

Mingma Sherpa is one of the most successful sherpas ever, having summitted Mount Everest 19 times in the past 25 years. Born in a family of mountaineers in the famous Rolwaling valley, near the Everest region, Mingma set up his own compnay in 2012, Ascent Himalayas. He is one of the first Nepalese to climb K2, the world’s second highest and arguably most dangerous mountain. Mingma is also in the Guinness Book of World Records with the highest number of climbs of Mt Everest between brothers (56 successful climbs between the seven brothers).

Mingma is an incredibly accomplished mountaineer with 29 successful summits of 8,000m peaks. He has also been directly involved in many rescues, including the 1996 Everest disaster; the devastating avalanche which resulted in 16 deaths in the Khumbu Icefall in 2014 and more recently, the rescue of those injured in the earthquake of April 25.

Mingma’s brother Pasang Tenzing Sherpa is also an accomplished mountaineer, with nine Everest summits to his credit and 16 years of high altitude climbing experience. He was one of the first Nepalese to become an IFMGA mountain guide and mountaineering instructor. He has been heavily involved in running professional training courses for sherpas and is training chief in the Nepal Mountaineering Association and president of the Mount Everest Summiters Club.

By Peter O’Connell

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