Darjeeling (West Bengal), April 25: Nawang Gombu, youngest Sherpa in the Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary team that climbed Mt Everest in 1953, died on Sunday. Born in 1935, he was the first person to climb the highest peak twice.
He held the record of being first to conquer Nanda Devi (24,645 feet) and youngest to climb the height of 26,000 feet. He died in his home town, Darjeeling in West Bengal, after a brief illness.
Gombu, nephew of Tenzing Norgay, was part of an elite group of Sherpa mountaineers that brought world wide fame for the Sherpa community. Gombu was elder of two siblings of father Nawang Gyaltzen (a former Tibetan monk) and Lhamu Kipa (a nun) in Southern Tibet near Rongbuk Monastery.
In 2006 then President of India honored him with Tenzing Norgay Lifetime Achievement Award in the field of Indian mountaineering. He won all possible awards in the field of mountaineering, including
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal in 1953, 1ubbard Medal of the National Geographic Society, USA in 1963,. Government of India awarded him Padma Shree in 1964 and Padma Bhusan in 1965. He won Arjuna Award in 1967.