"Without adventure you are not feeling real life."
- Sano Babu Sunuwar
February 28, 2012
With nearly 72,000 votes cast, we are thrilled to announce the 2012 People's Choice Adventurers of the Year: Nepalis Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa. Their dream to complete the Ultimate Descent—climbing Mount Everest, paragliding down, then kayaking to the sea—truly embodies the spirit of adventure.
Babu, 28, a kayaker and paraglider, and Lakpa, 39, a mountain guide, combined their skills to persevere in extreme conditions. Babu had never done a high-altitude mountaineering expedition like this before. Though he had three Everest summits to his name before the expedition, Lakpa didn't know how to swim, let alone kayak the Class V rapids they would encounter. Through teamwork and tenacity—and without the support of corporate sponsors or big budgets—they did something no one had ever done before.
Video by Alex Treadway; expedition photos and video courtesy Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa