“It is obvious that the physical capabilities of men and women are different. Only a woman instructor knows the problems a woman climber faces, and that is what makes the difference,” she says. She adds that in a patriarchal society like Nepal, having a female instructor is especially important. “For example, if a dad wants to send his daughter to train, he would hesitate less if one of the instructors involved is a woman,” she explains. Going by her voice, one can easily say that she is talking from experience. During her early days, she would have to think twice before getting on a motorcycle as a pillion rider. “After riding pillion, I would worry that someone might have seen me and told my folks at home.” This was not enough to stop her. It would take only a few months for her to turn pro.
Then came April 25
On the fateful day, Pasang and her client were near Gorakhshep in the Everest region; their plan for that day was to go to Kalapatthar. “At around 12 pm, we heard a roar. It sounded as if the mountain had exploded.” As she looked out of the window of the eatery, she saw snow gushing down the slopes. In no time, the eatery was buried under snow. “We were lucky that it was just powder snow.” Pasang and other survivors of the avalanche huddled around, and launched rescue efforts in the area. Among the people they rescued were members of an Indian expedition headed for the Base Camp.
The school where she studied and several other Hillary schools in the area were also hit.
When Pasang came to Kathmandu, she found the city badly affected, and it was only then that he magnitude of the disaster sank in. The school where she studied and several other Hillary schools in the area were also hit. Along with her husband and friends, she started a campaign to provide relief to people affected by the quake, outside the capital.
“This whole year has been full of bad news for us Nepalis,” says Pasang, who wanted to do something positive for the country amid the gloom. Her nomination for National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year 2016 has done just that.
So why did Pasang go to Everest on painkillers? Here is what she says,” I was doing rock climbing also at that time, and I had a minor accident. I was still recovering when the opportunity of a lifetime came. So I decided to go on painkillers.”
I was still recovering when the opportunity of a lifetime came. So I decided to go on painkiller
“This whole year has been full of bad news for us Nepalis”
“When I reached the summit, I took off my oxygen mask for 30 minutes to take photos. I could not believe my eyes. I pinched myself to make sure it was not a dream,” she says.
Will she attempt another Everest climb? “Well, my family members have said they won’t allow me to go on ‘dangerous’ climbs from now on.”
“Is Everest ‘dangerous’?”
Pasang is among the 10 individuals and groups nominated for the award. Vote is on till January 31, 2016. The winner will be announced in February, 2016.