Sherpas Summits Elbrus in Bid for Seven Summits

Mingma David Sherpa on top of Mt Elbrus

He owns and operates a trekking and mountaineering company called Seven Summit Treks so he should probably climb the Seven Summits too. To that end, Mingma David Sherpa, along with his brother Chhang Dawa Sherpa, summited Mt. Elbrus this past weekend, adding the highest peak in Europe to his already impressive resume of peaks.

Mingma, who is one of the rising stars in commercial mountaineering at the moment, has already climbed a number of big peaks in the Himalaya. Just this year, he has scaled Everest, Lhotse, K2, and Broad Peak. That makes the 5642-meter (18,510-ft) Elbrus seem pretty easy. In fact, it only took the duo two days to reach the summit, which they accomplished yesterday morning.

Why would two very accomplished Himalayan climbers bother taking on Elbrus, a mostly non-technical peak that uses a cable car to skip the lower flanks of the mountain? Simple, Mingma says that he and Chhang are attempting the Seven Summits, adding to their already impressive resumes, which include all 14 of the world’s 8000-meter peaks.

According to The Himalayan Times, the two brothers will next turn their attention to Kilimanjaro in Africa and Aconcagua in South America, the two highest peaks on those continents respectively. That would leave Denali (North America), Carstensz Pyramid and/or Mt. Kosciuszko (Oceania/Australia), and Mt. Vinson (Antarctica). When exactly he would attempt any of those other peaks remains a mystery, but some of those mountains have limited climbing windows that could clash with his commercial guiding business. Scheduling those expeditions is likely more challenging than the actual climbs themselves.

With August nearing an end, the autumn climbing season will start ramping up in the Himalaya soon. Seven Summit Treks no doubt has several expeditions on the calendar for the weeks ahead, so it may be some time before the two brothers move on to their next venture. Then again, considering their experience and heritage, they can also knock off a mountain like Kilimanjaro in less than a week without too much trouble. We’ll just have to see how their plan unfolds.

Kraig Becker