An Everest climber from Northamptonshire is fulfilling a promise he made to the Sherpa who saved his life when the camp he stayed in was destroyed by an avalanche.
Tony McMurray of Towcester has planned a week of a lifetime for Nepalese Sherpa, Sukman for his first ever trip to the UK including a three-day excursion to London after he flew to stay at their family home on Sunday.
Sukman’s one-week stay started with a special ‘Evening with Tony, Ellis and Sukman’, on Sunday, (June, 4) at the Saracens Head Hotel in Towcester.
Both intrepid explorers and their friend, Ellis, another mountaineer who flew to Nepal with Tony in 2015, appeared on stage in front of more than 100 people and each told of their own unique journies to Everest as well as what it was like to experience a quake on the highest mountain on earth.
Mr McMurray said: “The theme of the night was centred around the stories of Ellis, Sukman and I.
"My story took the audience through my years of fundraising leading up to April 2015.
"I then handed over to Ellis who enthralled us all with pictures and stories of a 20-year journey in his attempt to climb Mount Everest but it was Sukman’s story that had many in the audience in tears.
"[He showed] images of his very humble surroundings in Nepal where he works tirelessly to support his two ageing parents, a wife and four children, all devastated by the effects the quake had on their village."
The evening also included a fundraising auction, with £1,650 of proceeds raised going towards the rebuild of Sukman’s village after it was destroyed by the avalanche in 2015.
Towcester businessman Mr McMurray was leaving the Mount Everest base camp when his whole world shook around him on April 25, 2015.
He added: "What I did not realise at the time was that I was up on the highest mountain in the world during the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal killing 9,000 people and injuring more than 22,000."
During the "harrowing" days that followed, Tony and his team were evacuation from the natural disaster and had to rely on the skill of Sukman to take them to safety.
To Sukman’s surprise this week, Tony has managed to gather together old friends who met the Sherpa over years of trekking in Nepal and was thanked by loved ones for bringing Tony and Ellis to safety.