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A Climber We Lost: Mingma Wangdi Sherpa

Each January we post a farewell tribute to those members of our community lost in the year just past. Some of the people you may have heard of, some not. All are part of our community and contributed to climbing.


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You can read the full tribute to Climbers We Lost in 2022 here.

Mingma Wangdi Sherpa, 35, October 18

Mingma Wangdi Sherpa’s long career in his native Himalaya ended on Ama Dablam (6,812m/22,356 ft) on October 18. The 35-year-old Nepali guide was working as a rope fixer for Seven Summits Treks—the outfit that opened the route on Ama Dablam for the fall season—and died alone, attached to a fixed line just above Camp III. Some sources reported that Mingma had ascended Ama Dablam alone, shortly after the primary expedition team had already summited, while other rope fixers were descending to Base Camp.

“As the [climbing] team descended from Camp III to Camp II, Mingma fell behind,” said Bigyan Koirala, an officer for the Nepal Department of Tourism. “So, [his team members] thought he spent the night at Camp III. Some team members headed up to look for him in the morning, and found him at Camp III.” It’s unclear exactly how or why Mingma Wangdi passed, but over-exertion, exposure, or altitude sickness appear likely.

Mingma Wangdi was a lifelong porter, guide, and climber, and had reached the top of Everest (8,048m) five times, in addition to Manaslu (8,163m) and numerous lower summits in the Himalaya. “Mingma was a strong professional climber. The news about his death at 6,300m—[someone] who has climbed eight-thousanders including Everest—came as a surprise to me,” Ngaa Tenji Sherpa, a friend of Mingma Wangdi, told Everest Chronicle. “But anything can happen [in] the mountains.”

Ngaa Tenji told Climbing that Mingma Wangdi was born in the village of Walung in the Makalu region, and began working as a porter at the age of 13. “He worked hard and became a guide, and later a climber,” Ngaa Tenji said. He painted a picture of Mingma Wangdi as a hard-working, dedicated family man, someone who was out in the mountains working long, hard days from a young age, all to provide for his family. “He was the eldest son,” said Ngaa Tenji, “and [he] supported his whole family as the breadwinner.” 

Mingma Wangdi is survived by his daughter.

—Owen Clarke

You can read the full tribute to Climbers We Lost in 2022 here.