Nawang Sherpa became the first person to climb Mount Everest with a by reaching the summit on May 16, 2004 (see Mount Everest Timeline and Trivia). He is also the first amputee to reach the summit of Mount Everest on his first attempt, and the first disabled person from Asia to stand on the summit.
Nawang, a trans-tibial amputee, is a native of Tapting in the Himalayan region of Solukhumbu in Nepal. He grew up with a love of mountains and a dream to climb Mount Everest some day. He had completed part of his training to become a high altitude Sherpa guide when he was tragically injured in a traffic accident in Kathmandu in 2000. Despite months of hospitalization, his left leg required amputation, ending his climbing career and dream to climb Everest. A group of Nawang's American friends responded to his plight, and arranged for him to fly to California where he received a donation of his first sturdy prosthetic leg from the of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) in May 2001. He had arrived from Nepal on tattered crutches; a month later he returned walking strongly on two legs.
In the spring of 2002, he met the famous double amputee and high-altitude mountaineer/airline pilot of Minnesota in Kathmandu as Ed returned from an attempt to climb of Mount Everest. They became friends and Ed invited Nawang to join him on his next Everest expedition which was planned for 2003. Unfortunately, Ed Hommer was killed by rockfall while training on Mount Rainier in the autumn... Read More