University of Montana Western logo.
Apply Visit More Info

Nepalese trekking guides visit Montana Western.

August 30, 2016

Mock works with the two men in his capacity as co-director of the Khumbu Climbing Center (KCC) in Phortse, Nepal with climber Pete Athans, KCC’s other director. KCC was founded by world-famous climber Conrad Anker along with his wife Jennifer Lowe Anker. 

The KCC is a non-profit organization working with Nepalese climbers and high-altitude workers. Their goal is to increase responsible climbing practices within Nepal’s economically vital tourism and guiding industry. 

Shrestha has been an assistant climbing instructor at KCC for four years and Sherpa has served in that role for 10. 

“It’s been fun showing Mingma and Keshar around this part of the country and letting them climb in different terrain and conditions than they’re used to,” Mock said. “They’re some of the best guides in the world, trained to climb Mt. Everest, so it’s an honor to spend time with them and be their guide for a change.”   

It’s the first visit to the United States for both men, who so far have summited Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park and several other local climbing spots near Dillon, Mont. during their stay.  

Sherpa and Shrestha are spending nearly two months in the United States receiving additional training with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander, Wyo. They are this year’s recipients of scholarships established through the KCC and NOLS. 

NOLS was founded in 1965 by mountaineer Paul Petzoldt. They take students of all ages on remote wilderness expeditions and teach them technical outdoor skills, leadership and environmental ethics.

The training and techniques Sherpa and Shrestha learn with NOLS will be taken back to Nepal and utilized in their roles as high-altitude guides on Mt. Everest, Mock explained.   

Sherpa started working as a guide on Everest in 2001 at age 29. He has since summited the world’s highest peak 11 times. 

In addition to working on and around Mt. Everest, Shrestha has also worked as a trekking guide in Austria. He is fluent in five languages, which serves him well as a guide in an area where climbers come from all over the world.