A Sherpa Pioneer

A Sherpa Pioneer

Ang Tshiring Sherpa was an aviation and hospitality entrepreneur who emerged from a Himalayan hamlet to redefine travel in Nepal—founding Mountain Lodges of Nepal along the way.

Starting as a Soluhumbu kitchen boy, the lowest of the trek team hierarchy, Tshiring escaped to Kathmandu with Rs300 in his pocket (the exact amount is debated). Part of the first generation of Sherpas to venture out of their villages, he started a small travel company with his brothers (and sister-in-law, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa). With rugged determination and quiet charisma, Tshiring built and revived hotels, and grew Yeti and Tara airlines from a single Twin Otter plane into the largest network of domestic flight routes in the country.

The inventor of the superluxe Everest helicopter champagne breakfast, Tshiring never forgot his origins and spiritual roots, always blending philanthropy with commerce. Every air ticket planted a sapling and each boarding pass donated rupees to charitable causes. Tshiring pushed for remote airstrips to benefit locals, homestays to restore decaying villages, and high altitude ecolodges to bring tourism to new areas of the Himalayas.

Tragically, in 2019, Ang Tshiring died in a helicopter crash along with Nepal’s tourism minister and six others. Today Ang Tshiring’s family continues to run the the travel empire that he built—keeping it a truly Sherpa family affair.

-Lisa Choegyal