David Lama was quite literally born to climb. The son of a Nepali mountain guide and a nurse from Austria, David was known as one of the best all around alpinists in the world.
I first learnt about David when the Dec 2016 cover of Outside magazine captured my attention. A talented mountaineer, only in his 20’s, he had a goal and a vision to expand the sport for the next generation.
David, only 28 and a former teenage prodigy was quoted as outside magazines 30 under 30 athletes who were actively shaping the sport for the future generation. He was so young and inspiring, I had hoped to introduce my kids to him someday.
Mountaineering is not just a thing people do to find themselves, it is a sport just like Lacrosse or Soccer or anything else out there. I recollect my first glacial hike in the Himalayas in Kashmir, when I was 13 and when I returned with frost bitten toes! Mountaineering is a skilled sport and some people simply have the talent for it. David used drones and video footage to bring this adventure sport closer to everyday people. He found climbing partners and ascended some of the toughest routes while being mindful of the locals.
Not to take away from anybody’s accomplishments but there are folks who ascend Mt.Everest as a mission to change their lives, with less insight (not by any fault on their part), into how this shapes local life. If you find a minute, watch Discovery channel’s SHERPA. It tells the horrowing story of the 2014 tragedy on Mt.Everest through their eyes.
Earlier this week, David along with 2 fellow world class mountaineers, were attempting a difficult climb up the 10,810-foot Peak in the Canadian Rockies, when a large avalanche swept down the mountain, killing all three climbers.
These days, with the instant success of social media stars, finding good quality role models for ourselves and our kids is close to impossible. David was a hope for his generation and had established a legacy for mountaineers everywhere.
His first agent to Lunag Ri (Nepal) with Conrad Anker : Annapurna III – Unclimbed” is an award-winning 12-min documentary featuring the 2016 expedition to the Himalayas of Nepal led by David Lama together with Austrian alpinists Hansjörg Auer and Alex Blümel : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp72WjMVhTQ
I cannot even imagine what it must have taken for his parents to live through this week. Their heart wrenching note on Instagram linked here :