We wouldn’t be who we are today without the support of our teachers and training partners. The people that we meet in the wild spaces around the world give us new perspectives and make us better people. 

Alan Arnette Kami Rita Sherpa International Friendship
Friendship Highlight - story provided by Alan Arnette

The first time I met Kami Sherpa, there was an immediate bond. Now almost 10 years later, that connection is stronger than ever. There’s something captivating about this Sherpa husband, father and grandfather who has 17 summits of Everest plus another 27 on other big peaks.

His full name was Kami Tshering (Ang Chhiring) Sherpa – Pangboche). His mother changed it to Kami after an infant illness believing the illness would not return if she changed his name. Our first time climbing together was on Everest in 2011. It was my fourth attempt, but Kami’s 7th (5 summits.) Next was our summit of K2 in 2014 (on my 58th birthday!) and then we tried Lhotse twice. The earthquake stopped us in 2015, and my issues stopped us in 2016. But in 2018 I went back to Nepal and just Kami and I trekked to Goyko and summited Island Peak. It was fantastic being just the two of us climbing together.

He is out of work now due to COVID-19 in Nepal but his son, Mingma (who I message with often on Facebook - Kami would never use Facebook :) ) says he has been busy this spring and summer tending to the crops in front of their home in Pangboche.

This picture was taken at the Goyko Ri, 17,575-feet in Nepal. Everest Lhotse and Nuptse can be seen behind us in the distance. I wore my Himali Altocumulus Down Jacket throughout the trip. It was great!!