Nepali mountaineer to gift U.S. president with rock from Mt. Qomolangma

20:03, October 16, 2009      

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Mountaineer Pemba Dorje Sherpa, who set the world record for conquering Qomolangma in the shortest time ever in 2004, plans to gift United States President Barack Obama with a piece of rock from Mt. Qomolangma base camp during his visit to the United States next month to highlight the impact of climate change in the region.

Sherpa also plans to show pictures and videos from the region to Obama during his visit starting from Nov. 7. But his meeting with Obama is yet to be scheduled, according to Friday's report on

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal had also gifted Obama with a piece of rock from Qomolangma to highlight the same cause during his recent U.S. trip to participate in the United Nations General Assembly.

Sherpa told the website that the ice mass of Qomolangma region has depleted by a large amount in the recent years, which has made mountaineering much easier and faster.

"We had to use special ice-boots to climb Everest (Qomolangma) 10 years ago. But now we can easily climb with our sports shoes about 6,500 meters," Sherpa said.

This is largely because of the impact of climate change, which has resulted in retreating mass of ice in the higher altitudes, said Sherpa.

Sherpa, who has set a world record for climbing Qomolangma in the shortest time of eight hours and 10 minutes in 2004, has already climbed the summit for 10 times.

Sherpa is also carrying with him a banner marked with some 350 messages on the adverse effects of global warming in addition to the photographs and video footages of the higher reaches of the Himalayas.

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