← Back to Testimonials

Pemba Gyalje Sherpa

Date of Surgery: 9/14/2018
Update (11/2018): Pemba is planning a full career return to guiding this winter.

About Pemba

I was born on Feb 20th 1973 in a rural farming village called Pangom in Solukhumbu located 55 km south of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth. When I was 16 years old, I started working as a support staff in high altitude trekking and mountaineering in the Nepal Himalaya.

Because of my high interest in outdoor activities, I focused on acquiring trainings and courses related to hill walking, climbing and mountaineering. My first official climbing training was a Basic Mountaineering Course in 1994 jointly conducted by Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) and Alpine Association of Slovenia (PZS).

Since then, I continued to focus on developing my climbing skills and experience. I successfully completed my Advance Mountaineering Course in the Himalaya in 1997. Since 2001, I received an opportunity to learn modern climbing, mountaineering and guiding skills in the Alps through the School of National Ski and Alpinism (ENSA) Chamonix and International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations (IFMGA). With many years of learning and experience, I have become an experienced and certified high altitude mountain guide in 2009 from Nepal.

With more than 20 years of experience in the climbing and guiding profession, this has taken me all over the Himalaya, Karakoram and Alps for work and play. I’ve used my experiences and knowledge to guide various high-altitude trekking and climbing adventure groups and assisted them to successfully complete many expeditions in the Himalaya.

Career Background

When I was sixteen I climbed Island peak 20,305 feet in 1993, which was my first mountain summit experience and have now been involved in more than thirty expeditions to 7000 and 8000 meter peaks in the Himalaya. Since then, I have made successful summits on Mt. Everest six times, Mt. Cho-Oyu three times, and Mt. K2 one time without supplementary oxygen via south southeast buttress. Besides the many times I’ve summited on Mt. Everest, I have been 45 times into the death-zone (8000m) and guided clients to several 6000m and 7000m peaks in the Himalaya. Since 2000, I have climbed several mountains in the Swiss and French Alps and alpine rock tour in Europe. The last 18 years I have been actively working in the field of high altitude trekking, mountaineering and sport climbing as a training facilitator in Nepal with the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), Nepal Mountain Academy (NMA), Nepal National Mountain Guide Association (NNMGA) and various other organizations.

Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan

I underwent a right distal radius open reduction internal fixation surgery on 14 September 2018 with Dr. Viola at The Steadman Clinic. After the surgery, I started rehabilitation. I went to Howard Head Sport Medicine and also continued my rehabilitation at Elk Mountain Therapy Associates in Crested Butte. I am happy with my recovery progress and will be heading to climb in the Himalaya early 2019.


"I cannot find a perfect word to explain the assistance I received from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, except that I am very thankful. Without the foundations support, I wouldn’t have had my right-hand/wrist treated at The Steadman Clinic. This was my best chance at climbing, skiing and carrying on my guiding occupation again– which is my biggest income resource for my entire family. The support of the foundation has ensured that I received the best possible care and physiotherapy treatment which has greatly helped the positive outcome of the procedure. I am heading back to climb a big mountain in the Himalaya again next year and I am extremely excited. "

- Pemba Gyalje Sherpa