A Nepali mountain guide has been given the rare honor of joining the ranks of The North Face’s global team of athletes, which includes the likes of Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Hilaree Nelson. That makes this appointment to the team all the more special is that guide earning this distinction is none other than Dawa Yangzum Sherpa, the first Nepali woman to join the ranks of the TNF squad.
At the age of 27, Dawa Yangzum has already amassed an impressive resume of ascents in the Himalaya and beyond. Not only is she the first female mountain guide in Nepal, she has also summited Everest, Ama Dablam, and K2. She has also gone up Denali in Alaska and Aconcagua in Argentina, and has been to the top of Mt. Rainier an impressive 30 times. Not bad for someone who has yet to see their 30th birthday.
Dawa Yangzum says that much of her success is due to the Khumbu Climbing Center, and credits Anker, his wife Jenny Lowe, and Everest climbing legend Pete Athens for her success. At a young age, they helped her to acquire the skills she needed to not just pursue her passion for climbing, but also turn it into a career. As of now, she is one of just two female guides in all of South Asia that have earned official certification from the International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations.
In an interview with The Himalayan Times, Dawa Yangzum says, ““Initially, I never believed that a Sherpa girl from Nepal would be accepted into the upper echelon of athlete program in the US, especially in The North Face Team.” She goes on to add, ““I am humbled and extremely happy to be part of The North Face Athlete family and grateful for all their support as I continue my passion of climbing.”
As the spring Himalaya climbing season continues to ramp up, there is no doubt that Dawa Yangzum is busy preparing for an expedition into the mountains. She’ll be doing so this year in gear provided by The North Face, which I’m sure will be a badge of honor for her. Congratulations on joining the TNF team, it is well deserved and will serve to inspire other young women not only in Nepal, but the rest of the world too.
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