From his earliest work as a porter, to his achievements as a record-breaking mountaineer in his own right, Mingma David Sherpa’s career has been built on his quiet, steely determination, and an unparalleled ability for meticulous planning. Combined, these character traits have helped him become one of the outstanding climbing talents of his generation.
A resumé full of records
In January 2021, Mingma David became one of the first people ever to reach the top of K2 in winter, alongside his Elite Exped co-founder Nimsdai. Known as the Savage Mountain, the world’s second-highest peak is widely regarded as its most dangerous, and climbing it in winter was a feat that had previously eluded even the most talented of mountaineers, despite 30 years of attempts.
The Elite Exped founders’ incredible feat was not just a personal triumph, it also marked the first time an all-Nepalese team had ever achieved such a first on an 8,000m peak. Yet this is far from Mingma David’s only record. As a key part of the team behind Project Possible, Mingma David Sherpa helped Nims achieve his seemingly-unbelievable goal of climbing all 14 of the world’s 8,000m peaks in the space of just six months - and shatter the previous record by more than seven years.
As well as providing essential support, Mingma David stood shoulder to shoulder with his partner on eight of the 14 summits, setting his own world record in the process: he was just 30 years old when they reached the final peak, Shishapangma, making him the youngest person ever to have climbed all 14 of the world’s 8,000m peaks. His feats won him the title of “Sherpa of the Year” in 2019, and the coveted Piolet d’Or Asia award - equivalent to a mountaineering Oscar.