Lopsang Jangbu Sherpa Killed on Mount Everest
September 27, 1996

[Click to see a video interview with Lopsang]

Lopsang Jangbu Sherpa was killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest while working with a Japanese expedition. Lopsang, the 23-year-old Nepalese climber who was a member of Scott Fischer's expedition last May, had climbed Everest four times without supplementary oxygen.

The fatal avalanche, between Camp III and Camp IV, apparently occurred September 25, 1996, but confirmed reports from the mountain did not reach Kathmandu and the United States until September 27. Todd Burleson, who operates Alpine Ascents International, a Seattle-based guided climbing operation, had a party on a nearby mountain. Burleson told Mountain Zone correspondent Jane Bromet that his guides in Nepal had confirmed that a large avalanche on Mount Everest had killed Lopsang, at least one other Sherpa, and a French climber.

Lopsang, married with a two-month old child, was a strong and gifted climber. As early as 1992, Scott Fischer said that he believed Lopsang would become one of the greatest high-altitude climbers ever. Although only 23 at the time of his death, Lopsang's background already included some of the most demanding climbs in the Himalaya.

A partial accounting of Lopsang's climbs includes:

  • Summit, Mount Everest with Nepali Women's expedition, Spring 1993
  • Summit, Choy Oyu with Japanese expediition, Fall 1993
  • Camp 4, Mount Everest, Japanese expedition, Winter 1993
  • Summit, Mount Everest, Sagarmatha Environmental expedition, Spring 1994
  • Summit, Mount Everest, New Zealand expedition, Spring 1995
  • Summit, Broad Peak, Scott Fischer party, Summer 1995
  • Summit, Mount Everest, Scott Fischer party, Spring 1996
[Click to see a video interview with Lopsang]