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Phunuru Sherpa

Phunuru Sherpa Lead Instructor, KCC Basic Group

Phunuru has worked as a mountain guide with International Mountain Guides (IMG) since 1999. Originally from Phortse, he mostly leads big mountain (8,000m) expeditions. Phunuru has summited Everest 10 times (7 from the south side and 3 from the north side) and works as a lead guide for IMG on Everest every spring. In 1999 he dawned his first pair of crampons and boots when he worked with Conrad Anker on the expedition that recovered George Mallory’s body. In 2001 and 2003 he also took part in the return expeditions to recover Sandy Irvine’s body. Aside from these achievements, Phunuru has also summited Ama Dablam 5 times and he has the most recorded assents of Cho Oyu to date (16 times). After working on the Mallory expedition in 1999, Phunuru and Conrad Anker became friends and Phunuru was one of the founding members of KCC in 2004. He has been with the program for 13 years since its inception, and a lead instructor since 2008. Phunuru also has extensive international experience. He was WFR certified in the Cascades in the United States and was granted the KCC NOLS scholarship for a course in Wyoming. He was also one of the founders of the ALCF National Parks Exchange program, through which he was the first Nepali sent to assist rangers on Denali, the Grand Tetons, and Yosemite in 2009. He has also guided in China/Tibet and on Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Throughout his career Phunuru has led many rescues of Everest climbers back to the South Col, sometimes descending patients more than 1500 meters over multiple hours. He loves KCC for increasing the rescue skills of guides on Everest and for empowering locals to lead technical mountaineering on major peaks in Nepal. Phunuru has a wife and two daughters, and he splits his time between Phortse, Kathmandu and the United States