Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Adventurers of the Year

National Geographic is running a contest to name the Adventurer of the Year 2012. While at certain moments in the last year I have felt like the world's great adventurer, I was not included as a finalist. Then again, in past years I felt that some of my outings into the bitter cold of Chicago's winter qualified me, so perhaps I am not the best judge on this front. Still, National Geographic is letting me judge and vote. No question which Nepalis get my ballot.

Photo: Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa and Sano Babu Sunuwar
Source: adventure.nationalgeographic.com

Meet Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tseri Sherpa. Why do they look so happy? As National Geographic reports, they managed to summit Mt. Everest, paraglide down, and kayak their way through whitewater rapids to the Ganges River and on to the Indian Ocean. Starts to make your heroic dash to catch the bus this morning a little pathetic, no?

I love so many details of their story: their lack of climbing experience or ability to swim, the run in with gigantic red "scorpions," the robbery at knife point. Perhaps my favorite anecdote is that going airborne from the highest peak in the world was the highlight of their journey. Says Lakpa, "I like to sing while I fly. We were very happy. We were both singing. This was a dream for both of us." Is it just me, or can you totally see these two singing and paragliding through the mountains? (Which song?!) How can they not earn your vote for Adventurers of the Year?

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