Kagzi Sherpa

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Kagzi Sets Record Everest Archives
IMAX Everest
Ed Viesturs
How High is Everest?
Tom Whittaker
Jim Wickwire
Greg Child

Kagzi Sherpa's Triumphant Return
A Hero's Welcome After Climbing Everest at Record Speed




Wally Berg, four-time Everest summiter and veteran Nepal trekking guide, is back in the Khumbu leading his third trek of the fall. Berg spent a few days in Kathmandu between treks recently and while there he received news that his friend Kagzi Sherpa had broken the Everest speed record, climbing from base camp to the summit via the South Col route in less than 21 hours.

Berg soon was to return to Syangboche, above Namche Bazar, for the start of another trek and while at Kathmandu's domestic terminal for a flight he happened to cross paths with Kagzi.

Here is Berg's first hand dispatch to The Mountain Zone regarding the reception given to Kagzi Sherpa after his phenomenal feat:

"I was waiting at the domestic terminal in KTM on Oct. 25 for a flight back to the Khumbu. As it turned out the same helicopter which flew me to Syangboche, brought Kagzi back to Kathmandu after his successful ascent of Everest in 20 hours and 24 minutes.

"Kagzi is a bold climber, but was also very smart in his ascent. He showed excellent mountaineering judgement as well as extreme commitment..."

Hundreds of Nepalese people were waiting at the airport to meet Kagzi and give him a hero's welcome: Sherpas with Khatas (Buddhist religous scarves), dignitaries from the government, and executives from the Nepalese companies that sponsored his climb. It was a triumphant return for the accomplished climber.

"I have the upmost respect for what Kagzi did this year. It was his second attempt. After failure due to logistical snafus in 1994 he went back to work, stayed in shape, got more sponsors and accomplished his dream.

"Kagzi told the Kathmandu Post he plans to try to climb all the 8000 meter peaks without oxygen. If he is to do this, he will need to continue to climb on his own expeditions, without needing to work as a climbing sherpa for other teams.

"Kagzi is a bold climber, but was also very smart in his ascent in 20 and a half hours. He showed excellent mountaineering judgement as well as extreme commitment. He waited above 8400 meters for several hours in bad visibility and deteriorating weather — waiting for a sufficient break to allow him to continue to the summit."

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