Karma Gyeltshen, who claimed to be the first Bhutanese to summit the Everest in 2005, is not included among the official summiteers

Chencho Dema   

Jigme Pelden Dorji, a 24-year-old Lieutenant of the Royal Bhutan Army, made history yesterday by becoming the first Bhutanese to summit Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak at 8,849 metres above sea level. He reached the summit at 9:30 am.

Jigme was accompanied by his guide Chakra Rai and the support team.

 Jigme and his team left Everest Base Camp for the higher elevations on the night of May 16.

“Standing on the top of Everest fills me with immense pride as a Bhutanese. This climb is a tribute to my country, our monarch, and our enduring spirit of exploration,” Jigme said after his successful summit.

On the morning of May 17, Jigme and his team took a short water break at Camp 1 before reaching Camp 2, successfully navigating the dangerous Khumbu Icefall. On May 18, he climbed further to Camp 3.

Jigme Pelden Dorji becomes the first Bhutanese to summit the Everest. The 24-year-old RBA soldier reached the summit of the highest mountain in the world at 9.30am yesterday.

A mandatory puja ceremony for the Sherpas before climbing the Everest

After a night halt at Camp 3 with supplementary oxygen, Jigme moved to Camp 4 on the morning of May 19, climbing the Yellow Band, the first rock a climber encounters on the route up Everest. On May 20, he crossed the Hillary Step, a nearly vertical 12-meter rock face near the summit, and continued towards the top.

 Pasang Sherpa, Chairman of Nepal’s Pioneer Adventure Pvt Ltd. expressed his pride, stating, “We are delighted to have been part of Jigme’s historic climb. Our guides are committed to ensuring the success and safety of the climbers. Congratulations to Jigme for this extraordinary achievement.”

Nivesh Karki, co-founder of Pioneer Adventure, said that according to the original schedule, Jigme Pelden Dorji was supposed to summit on May 21.

He explained that due to reported wind speed conditions on May 20, the summit date was changed, but Jigme successfully reached the top today. “We are happy about his achievement and understand what his success means back home,” he added.

Nivesh Karki stated that Jigme was now back at Camp 2 and will return to Everest Base Camp on May 21.

“We eagerly await Jigme’s arrival in Kathmandu to celebrate his success. We are extremely proud of him,” he said.

Jigme was one of the 414 climbers who prepared for the summit.

Participants hail from 70 countries, with the USA leading in numbers.

The Everest route for this spring season officially opened on May 10.

Jigme Pelden Dorji arrived in Nepal on April 10 and began his trek to Everest Base Camp two days later. He reached the base camp on April 19.

According to the Nepal’s department of tourism, ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation’s data as of July 2023, a total of 7,626 individuals attempted to summit Mt. Everest between 1953 and May 2022.