Lakpa Norbu Sherpa, who climbed to Khumbu carrying a heavy book at the age of going to school, has been active in rescue work by hanging himself in a helicopter in the Himalayan region for 17 years.
Helicopters have been landing and taking off at the base camp since morning during the Everest ascent. Lakpa Norbu Sherpa has been busy flying and landing helicopters called ‘Mountain Taxis’ since morning.
Three satellite sets hang around his waist. Sometimes talking to the pilot of the helicopter and sometimes talking to the climbers in the upper camps. In Mt. Everest and most of the surrounding mountains, the news comes to his set before anyone is at risk, sick or injured.
Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Village Municipality-1, Khari Khola He is a famous ‘helicopter rescue expert’ working in the Himalayan region. He spends about 75 days at the Everest base camp each year during the climbing season. If we add up the time he spent in the base camp for the last 17 years, it is about 1,275 days.
How many bodies he pulled out by hanging on a rope hundreds of meters long, how many wounded he rescued and brought to the base camp, is not easy to count. “Remember one or two,” says Lakpa, 38. “In some cases, dozens have been rescued in a day.” It is dangerous to rescue the injured and the dead by helicopter in the mountains. There is a fear of losing one’s life. He is addicted to this profession. So he can reach the base camp when he starts pitching tents.
“Everything seems to be safe once he is at the base camp,” said Diki Sherpa, a Everest climber and tourism entrepreneur. Lakpa is affiliated with the Himalayan Rescue Association, of which he is the base camp manager.
There are also many days of struggle in Lakpa. He started carrying heavy loads in the Himalayan region when he was 13 years old. He was recruited by the Himalayan Rescue Association 20 years ago. At that time, the Maoist armed conflict had erupted. Therefore, there were many incidents of looting on the way while taking medicine to the Everest base camp. Lakpa, on the other hand, could easily deliver medicine. Being honest about his work, the union gave him the responsibility of leading the medical camp. He took the ‘Wilderness First Responder’ in Switzerland, Italy and the United States. He also trained in ‘Long Line Rescue’, which has only four Nepalis doing the course. He travels to Switzerland every two years for refresher training. He can coordinate with the helicopter company around the clock for rescue.
Whether it was an avalanche in 2014 or an earthquake in 2015, he has not forgotten. ‘Many were rescued alive at the risk of their own lives. How many bodies have been removed, ‘says Lakpa,’ the mountain itself is a dangerous area. It is my duty to be ready for rescue here. ‘ Unable to pay the porters, guides or government liaison officers, he has rescued everyone. He lives in Kathmandu with his two sons, wife and parents in the off-season. After the end of the climbing season, they sometimes go abroad for work. He has not been invited to live in European countries forever. “I am proud to work in my own country,” he said.