Six youths from the same village summited Mount Everest
Sandeep Gurung from Laprak, Ward No. 4 of Dharche Rural Municipality, had the opportunity to accompany a tourist visiting the Manaslu region. While trekking along the Camp Trail towards Manaslu, the tourist stayed in Laprak as their base. Sandeep, who was in the 6th grade then, took the chance to become their guide and lead them to Larkya Pass.
After that, he made plans to spend his life in the trekking region and eventually became a guide for tourists after completing his LLB. Spending a decade as a guide, at the age of 25, Sandeep successfully climbed Mount Everest. He reached the summit on April 23 of the previous year.
“Himalaya climbing is very challenging,” says Sandeep, “After venturing into the trekking region, I have successfully climbed six peaks above 6,000 meters. That experience has instilled a sense of pride in me that I can conquer Mount Everest.” He has undertaken Himalayan expeditions through an elite expedition company. Now, he plans to climb K2 in Pakistan and Broad Peak.
Sandeep and five other Laprak youths climbed Mount Everest in the same season. Yukta Gurung, Suman Gurung, Bisbahadur Gurung, Rambahadur Gurung, and Iman Gurung, together with Sandeep, have become the talk of the village after reaching the summit of the world’s highest peak.
Yukta, on the seventh attempt, reached the summit of Mount Everest and holds the record for the most ascents of Everest among the Gurung community. At the age of 22, he first climbed Everest in 2011. Subsequently, he successfully reached the summit in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2022. “Having dedicated 18 years to the trekking region, persistence pays off,” he said.
Ram Bahadur, a 28-year-old who has been involved in trekking for 15 years, reached the summit of Mount Everest in the month of Baisakh last year. “I used to carry heavy loads for tourists during school breaks and festivals. After completing my SLC (School Leaving Certificate), I started working in this field and eventually became a guide,” he said. “While working, I got the opportunity to climb Everest as well. Despite the initial hardships, the joy after reaching the summit is unparalleled,” Ram shares. Now, he has plans to climb the Manaslu Himal in the future.
Om Gurung, a 24-year-old, also successfully climbed Mount Everest in the same season. On Tuesday, at 2:00 PM, he reached the summit of Everest. His accomplishment has earned him praise from the villagers and trailblazers of the region.
Iman Singh Gurung is the name of the first Mount Everest climber from Gandaki Pradesh. In the year 2000, he successfully reached the summit of Everest. However, in 2005, while attempting to climb Kang Guru in Manang Himal, he tragically lost his life.
Record holder seniors, being recognized, have actively engaged the youth of Laprak village in both direct and indirect trekking activities. Around 60% of Laprak’s local tourism and mountaineering sector are involved in roles such as Everest climbers, mountain guides, trekking guides, and assistant guides. There are four internationally certified mountaineering instructors from Laprak. They have received training in mountaineering instruction and have returned to provide guidance. With most locals relying on tourism as their primary source of income, there have been calls to declare Dharche as an “Arohi Gaunpalika” (Mountaineering Municipality).
“Due to the active involvement of most youth in the trekking sector, Dharche-4’s Rojan Gurung highlights the need to familiarize this village as a hub for climbers. He states, ‘Nine individuals from a single ward have successfully climbed Mount Everest. Not only that, but many have conquered other peaks. This village is a pride for the district and has instilled even more enthusiasm among the youth to engage in the trekking sector. It is imperative for the municipality and the provincial government to declare Laprak as a climber’s village.'”