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Nepal guide for Project Himalaya and co-owner of Expedition Himalaya
Dawa has been trekking since he was a kid, was a long time cook then guide for Mountain Travel years ago. He has climbed Everest and other 8000m peaks multiple times and more recently has been the logistics organizer for Project Himalaya and Mountain Trip's expeditions. Dawa's kindness, his can-do attitude and gentle yet smart ways have endeared him to hundreds of trekkers around the world.
I'll get to know Dawa a bit over the course of the trek, and his presence turns out to be one of the best parts of the experience. He's always cheerful, and his philosophy seems to be: if things are good, laugh a lot; if there are problems, laugh a lot; and if it's in-between, just poke around a bit to indulge your curiosity and things will probably tilt one way or another. On the trail he's incredibly fit and strong, but also relaxed and casual; you never feel compelled to perform to keep up with him or impress him, and he has the knack of being attentive without being intrusive. He will shepherd us along the trail, going at our pace without a hint of impatience, leaving plenty of time to look under a bush for herbs or to stop by a trailside house and hop in, Sherpa-fashion, for a spontaneous visit. Sometimes he will need to go on ahead, and then we see his incredible strength and agility; he can go along the trail at least three times faster than we can.
Dawa has a wide sense of acceptance, and a nondiscriminatory manner which allows him to pitch a tent, brew tea, or lead a climb with equal dedication and good cheer. It's a little odd to have someone so competent as he serving us tea or chapattis - it feels we should be serving him - but his obvious sense that nobody is better or worse than anybody else brings a sense of harmony to all our interactions. Dawa is married, with children he has attending school in Kathmandu and family in his Khumbu village. He also has lived as a monk for 3 years or so, and remains quite religious: later on we'll have a number of enjoyable conversations about Buddhism, despite his limited English and my non-existent Nepali.
- Bob Rosenbaum
There are plenty of shots from our expeditions 2008 and prior. Newer shots are mostly in Flicker albums...
2013 GHT Tilman's
Second row: Dawa (porter cook), Esther Tan, Tom, John, Ole, Paul
Third row: Emma, Henning, Celesta, Aiteram, Samden, Pasang
Sitting: Dawa, a porter, Jamie, Mingma Lhakpa
Missing, minding the camp: Kami (cook), Dhirendra
2011 GHT exploration
2008 Dolpo Pik, Bali, Ornella and Dawa
2008 Everest, our team L-R:
Sarki (cook, BC manager), Sonam (new kitchen crew) Dawa (sirdar), Jangbu, Pasang Gombu, Kami, Da'Ongchhu, Tawa (C2 cook), Jamie, Raphael, Nima Tenzi, Andy, Gina, Anselm, James
And on the other side of the chotar: Nawang Geden, David, Pasang Gyelu, Mindu, Tarke, Mingma Lhakpa (kitchen) and Chewang Palden, missing Namgyal
2006 PH Everest Expedition: Dawa (centre) and a happy team on top of Everest
L-R: Chewang Palden, Pasang Gomba, Kami Dorje, behind standing Anne Parmenter, Dawa Gelje, Mindu Tsheri, Tarke,
five out of the eight sherpas that summitted
Our 2006 Kanchen Gola Exploratory trek team at the end
2005 Kanchengola: Standing L-R: Bal Bahadur (porter leader), Pasang (sherpa-cook), Bir Bagh
(sherpa), Dawa (sirdar), John SS, Da'Yula (sherpa-sirdar), Natasha, Niels,
Alphonse, Dallas C, Jerry C
Lower row: Pasang (kitchen), Namgyal (sirdar-leader), Zangbu (sherpa), Pik C, Gerardo, Rachel, Megan, John, Mike, Ornella, Jamie, Andrew
2005 Shishapangma memories, standing L-R: Tshering Dorje, Tawa, Jamie, Dorje, Scott Streett, Dawa Gelje, Greg, Ed K, Pasang, Dr Warwick
Below: Mike Teger, Bob B, Simona, Da'Yula, Nima
2004: Dawa, Andrew Lock and Jamie McGuinness
2004 Cho Oyu memories: Dawa, Namgyal and Jamie on the summit of Cho Oyu
2004 Cho Oyu memories: Dawa feeds a Tibetan snowcock
2003 Shishapangma memories. With the summit cake: Richard, Temba, Dawa, Jamie (bearded), Pasang, Nicola, Phil (yellow jacket), Nigel (red jacket)
2000 summit of Tengkoma