Dawa Yangzum becomes South Asian Women’s First International Mountain Guide


1st Jan, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew


KATHMANDU, Jan 01: Dawa Yangzum Sherpa from Nepal has become the first woman from South Asia to be an internationally-certified mountain guide. She is a 27-year-old mountain guide from the Rolwaling valley of Dolakha.

Nepal National Mountain Guide Association (NNMGA) handed over the certificate to Sherpa on Thursday on behalf of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA) on the occasion of 12th Annual National Mountain Guide Day.

Sherpa has also become the second woman in Asia to be an IFMGA-certified mountain guide and one of the 6,000 IFMGA-certified mountain guides in the world.

One has to go through many written and practical exams to obtain this certificate. The aspirant should complete both basic and advanced courses of mountaineering from Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), and must have climbed five mountains above 5,400 meters. The course includes theoretical and practical courses of rock climbing, ice climbing, rescue training, medical studies, environment, and other training of high altitude mountaineering.

Sherpa, who started her mountaineering career at the age of 17, said that this achievement has set a precedent for other women mountaineers too.

“We have very few females in this field as professional guides.” Sherpa said. “So my achievement could encourage them to take up this as a profession.”

She was certified as a national mountain guide two years earlier.

“One has to be physically and mentally strong for this profession as well as to be patient,” she said. “There is a good scope of this profession, especially for women in Nepal since there are very few women who are working as mountain guides.”

Stating that great achievement comes along with great responsibility, she said will be working to encourage women mountaineers in Nepal in the coming days.

Till now, Sherpa has already climbed Mount Everest (2012), Cho-Oyu (2014), Ama Dablam (2011), Yala Peak (2009), along with Mount Chiki-Go, Island Peak, and Mount Rainier as a mountain guide.

She had also successfully climbed K2 in 2014 at the age of 24, as the youngest female mountaineer in a team of 18 members. Recently, she has successfully completed first ascent of 6,337-meter high Mount Langdung.

Sherpa usually spends around eight months of each year in the mountains.