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Youngest sherpa on Hillary's Everest climb dies

25 april 2011, 18:03
Everest Photo ©dailymail.co.uk
Everest Photo ©dailymail.co.uk
Nawang Gombu, the youngest member of the 1953 team that put Sir Edmund Hillary on the summit of Mount Everest, has died at his home in northern India, family members said Monday, AFP reports. He was 79.

Gombu was barely 21 when he joined his uncle Tenzing Norgay -- who eventually summitted with Hillary -- on the first successful expedition to climb the world's highest peak.

Gombu missed out on the summit in 1953, but got there 10 years later and again in 1965 -- making him the first person to scale the mountain twice.

Born in Tibet, he had moved with his family to Nepal before finally settling in the Indian hill town of Darjeeling.

Gombu's son said his father had died on Sunday at home after a short illness.

Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association and a leading organiser of Everest expeditions, said his death was a "great loss" to the mountaineering community.

"We know that his passing will not only leave a void in our lives, but in the hearts of all those who knew him," he said.

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