Nepali Adventurers Win NatGeo Award

Pair completed Everest-to-ocean descent

Feb 28, 2012
Outside Magazine

On Tuesday, a pair of Nepali adventurers won National Geographic's 2012 People's Choice Adventurers of the Year award for an expedition from the summit of Mt. Everest to the Indian Ocean. Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa, 39, and Sano Babu Sunuwar, 28, paraglided from the summit of Everest on May 21, 2011, biked till they found water, kayaked acrossed the Nepali border, and then paddled the Ganges River to the Indian Ocean. The pair managed to become the first to complete such a descent and had no corporate backing. They also set a world record for 8,865 meters of free flight. Sunuwar described himself as "not a climber" and Lakpa Sherpa had never kayaked before and could not swim. After being robbed at knifepoint, almost lost in class V rapids, and having to live off fruit trees, they arrived at the Indian Ocean on June 27. “When we arrived on the beach, we were frightened. We were surrounded by giant red scorpions,” said Sunuwar. The creatures, they later discovered, were only crabs.

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