Gyalbu Sherpa was born in the Rolwaling area in the Himalayas of Nepal in the year… well, we don’t know what year Gyalbu Sherpa was born in because they didn’t keep those kinds of records in the high villages of the Himalayas. And yes, Sherpa is his last name, along with 90% of the other people who are born in Rolwaling. Not only is it his name, it was his occupation. An occupation anyone can be proud of – an occupation that the first- born son will historically pursue.
Gyalbu’s father was a Sherpa, and his grandfather was a Sherpa, and so on and so on.
Of his five Everest summits, three were on the Nepalese Southeast Ridge and the other two were on the Tibetan North ridge. He summited K2 just days after his fourth Everest summit, in 1997 to be part of a very exclusive club of just under 300 people in the world who have stood on that summit. He likes being a Sherpa because he values hard work and enjoys helping people.
Gyalbu left the mountaineering world in the Himalayas to make a better life for his children, and has been working in the United States for the past 14 years. His two sons and daughter are now all in college.
When the founder of The Heroes Project, Tim Wayne Medvetz, signed up to climb Mount Everest in 2002, the first thing he did was search for a Sherpa in Los Angeles who could give him some advice on what it takes to summit Mt Everest. That’s how he met Gyalbu, and they have been friends and climbing together ever since.
So when The Heroes Project was born it was a no brainer to bring Gyalbu on board as The Heroes Projects Climbing Sirdar (Sherpa Mountain Guide). Gyalbu says it’s his way of giving back to America for everything this country has done for his family.