April 18, 2024, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

‘I climbed Everest to see the site where my husband died while earning livelihood for family’

The Nepal Weekly
August 29, 2023
  • – Nima Doma Sherpa, Everest hero

Born in Khumjung of Pasang Lhamu rural municipality in Solukhumbu district, Nima Doma Sherpa belongs to a Sherpa family which is dedicated to climbing mountains. Both her father and husband attained martyrdom while scaling the mountain.

After she lost her husband during 2014 avalanche that hit Khumbu Icefall that claimed lives of 18 Sherpa guides. After the demise of her husband Nima has been shouldering the responsibility of growing up her two children, elder son and younger daughter.

She did not stay in the home even after the tragedy and continued climbing mountains and working as a mountain guide. Following the foot steps of her husband Nima succeeded in climbing the world’s highest peak in 2019. Here is the story she tells to The Nepal Weekly during an encounter.

“After my husband (Tsering Wangchu Sherpa) passed away in the avalanche in 2014, a year before the great earthquake, I have gone through financial difficulties and many other problems,” her eyes are filled with emotions when she tells the story.

Those serving in the army and police get different kinds of facilities, even their children get free admission in schools if their father dies while on duty. But we, working in the area of mountaineering do not get any such facility and benefits from the government, though our contribution is not less than those working in the security service, complains Nima.

“But at the time of such a misfortune Himalayan Trust helped us in the form of free education to my children,” she said. “Both of my children, one son and another daughter, were small at that time. The Trust sponsored their school fees and hostel charges, which was a big relief for me.” Then I worked for different trekking agencies as a guide to earn my livelihood,” says Nima adding “I cried for almost three years, after I lost my husband.”

“It was very difficult to maintain life as a widow. People will talk about us, if we wear some good clothes and go around the village. They will point fingure towards us when we talk to men,” she elaborates her difficult time.

“At that time I was thinking that I am the only woman who has lost her husband. But one day in 2017 I got the opportunity to join a group of around 30-35 women, all of whom were widows. Then I realized that I am not the only widow in this planet.”

One of the women was just 20 years old, when her husband died and another woman was widowed when her baby was just one month old, says Nima. “Then I came to know the reality, which gave me courage to move ahead, to do something.”

“We got training under the guidance of one senior man, Ang Tshering Sherpa, who encouraged me a lot. Then we got the opportunity to go through training in ice-climbing and mountaineering,” she explains.

“In 2018 we were prepared for climbing Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world. We formed a team of three women and started our journey towards the summit. I had the desire to see the place, where my husband lost his life. He was swept away in a sudden avalanche in 2014, when eighteen mountain guides including my husband died.”

“I wanted to know, what type of difficulty my husband had faced going to the mountain to earn money to feed the family. But the work was very much challenging for us as we didn’t have money for the expedition, “ says Nima.

“Then I went to the village and played Deusi and Bhailo to collect donation. We collected lots of money and joined special training before embarking on the journey toward the Everest,” says she. We also got financial support from Chicago based Juniper Fund for joining the training. The US based Juniper Fund supports and empowers families and communities impacted by the loss of Himalayan high altitude workers.

“Three of us went for the expedition in May 2019 and on May 23 we reached on top of the Everest, she describes with confidence. “Then we came back to Kathmandu within 53 days. My eyes were filled with tears till I reached Kathmandu, because during the entire expedition, I remembered my husband, who lost his life in the Everest.”

“But I did not fear to climb the Everest, as my single point aim was to reach on the top, the peak. Many people had warned me not to risk the life as I have to take the responsibilities of my little children.”

“My younger daughter was not aware about the expedition but the elder one, son, was very much aware and he even asked me not venture to go for the expedition. You might face the same fate as my father did,” he warned me several times. But I didn’t listen to him at that time as I was committed to reach atop,” says Nima. Including the Everest, she has so far climbed four mountains. She is currently in Spain for two month for making a holiday and to meet her foreign friends. She has no immediate plan to climb new mountains