Sherpa Adventure Gear was inspired by sheer chance in 2003. Back then, my family and I owned an import clothing business. In May of that year, while walking down the streets of Manhattan, a magazine issue commemorating the 50th.anniversary of the first ascent of Everest caught my eye.
The craggy lines of the familiar face staring at me from the cover belonged to none other than my Uncle, Ang Gyalzen Sherpa. I was amazed to discover that he was one of the original Sherpa on Sir Edmund Hillary’s celebrated expedition in 1953.
Today, every climber in his heart is grateful for having a Sherpa companion on the treacherous slopes of the Himalayas. For it is the Sherpa who makes the route, carries the load and lays the rope all the way to top and back.
They risk their lives for a pittance and smile through the life threatening ordeals on the flanks of Everest and surrounding peaks. But rarely do they receive any of the fame or recognition that follows a successful summit.
As I read the sad story of the many unsung Sherpa heroes like my uncle who live in total anonymity—and often utter poverty—in the shadow of Everest, I felt a powerful urge to share the Sherpa story with a wider audience. So I created Sherpa Adventure Gear and began making outdoor clothing and gear. Then I started sponsoring the best high altitude climbers in the world to test our products --the Sherpas themselves.