25 Apr 2011

Death of veteran Everest sherpa

3:37 pm on 25 April 2011

An Indian mountaineer who was the youngest member of the team led by Sir Edmund Hillary to climb Mount Everest, has died at his home in Darjeeling.

For 20 years Nawang Gombu, 79, held the record for being the only man to have reached the summit of Everest twice.

He was one of the 'Tigers of the snow' - a select group of Himalayan Sherpas whose knowledge and strength was relied on heavily by international mountaineers.

Although Mr Gombu was part of the team with Sir Edmund in 1953, he did not actually get to the top of Everest then.

That happened 10 years later with the first American expedition to reach the summit.

The BBC reports he reached the summit again two years later, becoming the first person to make the journey twice.