Sherpa who reached Everest summit 10 times leads Hong Kong charity hike

Jeanette Wang

Event this Sunday to raise funds for rebuilding in Nepal following last year’s devastating earthquake. Teams of five or more can register on the day for 13km route starting in Central

Phurba Tenzing Sherpa has led expeditions to the summit of Mount Everest 10 times since 2007, but on July 24 he will find himself in unknown territory: on a Hong Kong peak.

The 27-year-old Nepali mountaineer is visiting the city for the first time as guest of honour for Hike for Nepal, a 13km charity hike to raise funds for rebuilding in Nepal, parts of which were hit by devastating earthquakes in April and May 2015 which left some 8,700 dead and at least 22,200 injured. Since then the country’s main industry – tourism – has taken a battering.

“Fundraising is personally the secondary aim for me,” Phurba said. “I’m here to spread the message, ‘We Will Rise’. I’m here to inform the world that Nepal will certainly rise up again and to tell the international community that Nepal is safe, our mountains are safe and foreigners should visit Nepal. Nepal is based on tourism; without tourists, there is no life for Nepalese.”

On his 10th Everest ascent on May 20 this year, Phurba planted the flag of the We Will Rise Foundation atop the 8,848-metre peak. The foundation, a charity launched soon after the earthquakes struck, has taken part in social activities to foster and strengthen the cooperative spirit of Nepalis at home and abroad to help rebuild.

The foundation has collaborated with the Miteree Service Committee Pokhara Hong Kong to organise the hike on Hong Kong Island on Sunday. Starting at the Hong Kong Observation Wheel at the Central Harbourtfront, the hike will pass through Wan Chai Gap, Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park, skirt Violet Hill and finish in Repulse Bay. It is estimated participants will take four hours.

Participants need to form teams of five or more members to join the hike, and each member has to contribute a minimum of HK$200. Registration can be done on the day and participants should meet at the Observation Wheel at 7.30am.

Before the hike begins, Phurba’s compatriot Thaneswar Guragai, also on his maiden visit to the territory, will attempt to add another record to his 12 Guinness World Records by spinning a basketball on his elbow for more than six seconds. Thaneswar’s other records have involved spinning a basketball on his nose (7 seconds), head (23 seconds) and toe (25 seconds), bouncing a basketball 444 times in 60 seconds, as well as other balancing feats.

Another fundraising event will be held on Monday, July 25 at 7.30pm, with the premiere of the documentary Journey to the Top of the World, followed by dinner at Kangan Restaurant in Jordan (1/F, Real Sight Commercial Building, 122 Woosung Street).

For details, contact Raksha Gurung (6705 5607), Krishna Gurung (6438 4025), Nirmal Shrestha (9535 6371), Bhim Pun (5660 9355) or Suraj Gurung (6347 0708).

Source: South China Morning Post