Chhiring Dorje Sherpa

Chhiring Dorje Sherpa is a renowned alpinist with a lengthy list of accomplishments who has also demonstrated extraordinary courage in extreme situations. Born in Nepal's mythical Rolwaling valley in 1974, Chhiring began climbing at the tender age of 12, working to support his family as a porter for Western mountaineering expeditions. Since then, he has guided over 40 high-altitude expeditions and stood atop Mount Everest 16 times—three of those occurring within a few weeks during a single climbing season.

Chhiring has become one of the world's most respected alpinists not simply for his many summits, however. On K2 in August 2008, during a storm in which 11 climbers lost their lives, Chhiring led a heroic rescue effort unparalleled in modern climbing history. The story of that incident can be found, among other places, in the book Buried in the Sky by Amanda Padovan.