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Dawa Yangzum Sherpa: South Asia’s first female International Mountain Guide


Dawa Yangzum Sherpa is a history creator in the mountaineering world and South Asia’s first female International Mountain Guide. This young passionate girl who desperately wants to explore the mountain peaks was born in a Sherpa family and raised in Dolakha (the Himalayan region of Nepal). She always dreamt of exploring each and every peak successfully.

During her childhood, she used to notice a lot of visitors exploring the mountain peaks. Her family was supportive to let her choose her field of profession while it was really tough outside because people thought that the profession she chose to undertake was specifically made for the males, rather than females. However, in Sherpa communities, the females are not bounded by the family’s rules and regulations in comparison to other communities. So, she was not forced to be restricted in one circle. If it was outside her family, it would be very hard for her to spend continuously a long days or months exploring the mountains.

She started her job 10 years back. During her journey, she faced a lot of challenges. According to her, the challenges she experienced during her initial phase were ice climbing and rock climbing. Despite all these hard circumstances, she never quit to continue her journey but rather she was always determined and focused herself on one path. She used to tackle problems step by step.

Dawa, today, is titled as the country’s first female International Mountain Guide. Gaining this title is currently her biggest achievement.

Sherpa successfully ascended Mt.Everest back in 2012 AD which she considers to be the toughest climb. Likewise, she was one of the three women who summited the Mt.K2 (8,611m) under the ‘Women for Change Expedition’ in 2014.  Similarly, she was the first Nepali woman to complete the climbing rescue ranger at the Mt.Rainer.

Even though she has not gained proficiency in her academic areas, she always dedicated herself in her passion and strengths where she was vocationally proficient. She upgraded herself by taking a lot of trainings and five-year-long examination process including multiple exams an aspirant guide need to face.

While everyone around her considers Dawa as a successful person, she thinks that the title of International Mountain Guide has given her new set of challenges. She mentions that she has been honored with the title because she has got enough ability to lead and contribute on this field in future days. She believes in herself and will never let her passion die.

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“You should never let yourself to quit your passion despite all the circumstances that may happen around you.” – Dawa Yagzum Sherpa.

By: Manisha Bagale