Nawang Gombu, has made a lifetime of climbing the highest mountain in the world. At 16, he was the youngest Sherpa in the group that let Tenzing norgay and Sir Edmund Hilary to the summit of Everest in 1953. Since then, he has been the first to summit Everest twice, a record that was his for almost 20 hears, the first in India to climb Nanda Devi in 1964, a 24, 645 ft mountain and he was also the youngest person to reach 26,000 ft. Part of a special group that made Sherpa a world wide name, he leaves behind an impressive legacy left for mountaineers and climbers to celebrate. He passed away in his home in Darjeeling at age 79. He was the elder of two siblings.
In 2006 he was awarded the Tenzing Norgay Lifetime Achievement Award in the field of Indian mountaineering by President APJ Abdul Kalam.
Gombu dedicated his later life to the Sherpa Community, raising funds and being President of the Sherpa Buddhist Association for the past few years.
A list of his awards:
- 1953 – Tiger’s Medal
- 1953 – Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal
- 1963 – Hubbard Medal of the National Geographic Society, USA
- 1964 – Padma Shree – India
- 1965 – Padma Bhushan – India
- 1966 – IMF Gold Medal – India
- 1967 – Arjuna Award – India
- 1967 – Olympic Gold Medal – Rome
- 1986 – Tenzing Norgay Award Lifetime Achievement Award – India