Sonam and his friends ran away from their village to Kathmandu. For the next five years he worked as an assistant trekking guide in the Annapurna and Langtang Regions. He avoided the Everest Region fearing his family would make him go home.
Returning to Nepal, Sonam travelled to Ladakh via Kashmir on reconnaissance to bring a French group to that region. Later that year, with the Ladakh trip a success, his French friend returned to France and promoted Sonam’s trips. Over the following years, travellers from France joined Sonam’s trips. The business was born.
Sonam Sherpa was born in the village of Pangom in the Solukhumbu (Everest) Region of Nepal. His family had a successful cattle business which his father wanted Sonam to continue running.
During a climbing expedition, Sonam’s older brother died on Mt Manaslu when an avalanche buried the camp, killing all 15 climbers. This greatly affected Sonam and later inspired him to work on the mountains.
At the age of 19 Sonam befriended a French traveller. He worked for three months in a ski resort in France, saving money, making friends, and learning to ski.
Returning to France every year, and then to Ladakh with his French groups, Sonam’s network and reputation grew.
While in France, Sonam was invited by his friends to climb Mt Blanc. After a 3 week mountaineering course in France, he successfully scaled Mt Blanc. This was Sonam’s first climbing experience.
Back in Nepal, Sonam turned his attention to the mountains in his home country and he climbed Annapurna.
As a guide in an 11 person team, Sonam successfully summitted the southwest ridge of Thamserku.
After three years of running his business single-handedly, Sonam invited his two brothers to come and work with him turning the company into a family business.
Thamserku became 3rd biggest adventure company in Nepal.
Thamserku became 2nd biggest adventure company in Nepal.
Thamserku became the number 1 adventure company in Nepal – and remained the top company for 16 years.
After seeing the demand for flights and how difficult it was to get seats on Royal Nepal Airlines, the only airline flying to the Everest Region at the time, Thamserku established Yeti Airlines.
The hospitality branch of Thamserku started with the opening of Yeti Mountain Home in the Everest region – the first comfort lodge on the trekking trails.
Sonam’s brother, Ang Tshering took over the running of Yeti Airlines and the subsequent development of their aviation sector with multiple airlines and helicopter services.
Over the following two decades, Thamserku’s business has continued to thrive and go from strength to strength, growing from modest beginnings to employing 3000 employees across the various sectors. World renowned resorts across Nepal, the largest aviation network in the country and still one of the top adventure company’s - Thamserku is widely recognized as a pioneer in Nepal for travel, expedition and hospitality.