Meet our heroic leader and Everest summiteer, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita - National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2016.
Pasang has overcome incredible odds to become a legend at the age of 30. She was born in remote Khumjung village in the Khumbu region of northeastern Nepal—home of the Sherpa in the shadow of the towering Sagarmatha.
Pasang lost her parents at a very young age. She grew up in neighbouring Lukla, where she raised a younger sister while also training to become a mountain guide and mountaineer. By the age of 18 she was climbing mountains. In 2006, she became the first woman to summit Nangpai Gosum (7321). In 2007, at 22 she summited Mount Everest. In 2012 she scaled Amadablam (6812) with the first all-women Nepali-French expedition. In 2014, she summited K2 with two other Nepali women. This first all Nepali women expedition to K2 was intended to raise consciousness about global warming. She is also the first woman mountaineering instructor of Nepal.
What is truly outstanding about Pasang, what makes her such an inspiring figure, is her humanitarian commitment. She has been involved in two avalanche rescues at Everest Base Camp, in 2014 and 2015. The avalanche in 2015 was a consequence of the April earthquake in Nepal. After narrowly escaping death she helped retrieve the bodies of the dead before attending to the injured, providing medical assistance, care and assisting in evacuation.
She returned to Kathmandu soon after and plunged tirelessly into relief work to alleviate the suffering of thousands of people devastated by the two earthquakes of April and May 2015. She lead the relief missions of AYAM Foundation to Kavre, Sindhuplachowk, Nuwakot, Dhadhing, Gorkha and Dolakha. She went the epicenter of the first earthquake in Gorkha district, in the villages of Laprak and Barpak, with supplies, helped resettle elderly victims in new locations and provided assistance to pregnant women and young mothers. She is still engaged in providing relief through the cold harsh winter of the northern districts, running health camps and distributing warm clothes.
AYAM Foundation came into existence through her inspiring work and her indomitable spirit. We at AYAM Foundation are grateful and privileged to have worked under able and wise leadership. We salute her courage, compassion and humanity. She embodies the triumph of compassion and humanity in the face of adversity. As a token of our gratitude and our esteem for her, we started the campaign to make her the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and Pasang finally won the Title of National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2016.