Quiet and humble with an infectious smile and peaceful presence, Chhiring Dorje Sherpa reflects on his adjustment to life here in Steamboat after moving from Nepal.
Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and his family are from Rolwaling Valley located in the east-central part of Nepal. At 16, Chhiring began his life as a Sherpa. He and his brother, Tashi, ultimately formed their own expedition company, Rolwaling Excursions, Ltd. Through guiding a Mt. Everest expedition in 2004, Chhiring met Dr. Eric Meyer who introduced him to Steamboat and played a pivotal role in Chhiring’s family’s move.
“I had a good feeling about Steamboat,” said Chhiring. After visiting Dr. Meyer, he decided it was “much good for education” and a “friendly and safe place” for his family. Following a difficult and involved three-year visa process, Chhiring and his wife Dawa moved to Steamboat in 2012. Their daughters, Tenzing and Tshering, followed two years later. Their education served as an important motivating factor for the move. “I can’t read and write. I never learned and that makes me sad,” he reflected. “Chhiring and Dawa have gone to extraordinary lengths to provide their girls with the very best education since they were seven years old. They will be the first in their family to graduate high school and college,” said Dr. Meyer.
Chhiring continues to guide expeditions in Nepal, returning every spring and fall. He spends his off seasons in Steamboat working for Big Agnes, catching up with his family, volunteering for Everything Outdoor Steamboat and a Western State
Colorado University outdoor program. When asked about his off season training, Tenzing noted, “While I was growing up, I never saw him doing training for the mountains. Now even we only go for a walk.” Chhiring and Dr. Meyer have climbed and hiked in Colorado, including some 14ers. Chhiring’s Steamboat clients include Dr. Eric Meyer, Matt Treadway and Dan Ball. This year he incorporated Rolwaling Excursions, Inc. in Colorado, and plans to open an office in Steamboat.
Chirring maintains a deep respect for the treacherous mountains of Nepal and the dangers they present. He acknowledges that his family worries, but states, “That’s my job.” Smiling, he admits they are relieved when he arrives safely back home. “I think it (is) more than his work. He just loves the mountains and meeting new people with different stories,” Tenzing said. Both girls appreciate Chhiring’s love of the mountains. “Me and my sister Tshering share adventure of rock climbing and hiking influenced by his stories and always follow his energetic spirit in the mountains,” said Tenzing.
When reflecting on life in Nepal after the April 2015 earthquake, Chhiring recognized that the international climbing community remained supportive of Nepal, with climbers returning in the fall of 2015. In fact, Tashi was instrumental in “getting the good news out into the world” that the mountains were ready again for exploration. In October 2015, he and two other guides ascended three peaks in Rolwaling in three days, documenting their incredible climbs and the conditions. Tashi then contacted previous clients, advertised in the newspapers, international magazines and posted the documentary on his website in an effort “to show and spread the news that Nepal is still a safe place for the trek climbing and tour after the earthquake,” said Tashi.
Chhiring believes he was put here on this Earth to guide and serve others. He continues to care of his extended family back in Nepal as well as many villagers, often working behind the scenes to make sure they all get what they need. Humble in his greatness, he stands ready to work and to serve.