Dawa Yangzum, first South Asian woman to become IFMGA-certified guide

Published On: December 30, 2017 09:15 AM NPT By: Arpana Ale Magar

KATHMANDU, Dec 29: Dawa Yangzum Sherpa, a 27-year-old mountain guide from remote Rolwaling valley of Dolakha, has become the first woman from South Asia to be an internationally-certified mountain guide. 

Nepal National Mountain Guide Association (NNMGA), on behalf of International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA), handed over the certificate to Sherpa on Thursday, 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.

To get this certificate, one has to go through many written and practical exams. 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 had started her mountaineering career since she was 17, said that this achievement has become an example 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.” 

Two years ago, she was certified as a national mountain guide. 

“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 eight months each year in the mountains. 

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