Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa

NatGeo announces Adventurers of the Year

Team Ultimate Descent (Credit: National Geographic)

Congratulations to Nepali adventurers Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa, who by climbing Mount Everest, paragliding down, then kayaking the Ganges River all the way to the Indian Ocean earned the National Geographic 2012 People’s Choice Adventurers of the Year award.

The team began their expedition in April of 2011. According to National Geographic, “Babu, 28, had no climbing experience,” and “Lakpa, 39, had never kayaked and didn’t even know how to swim.” Not bad for a couple of first-timers!

The adventurers set a new world record for free flight at 8,865 meters, were robbed at knifepoint and had to live off fruit trees.

Their aptly named expedition, Ultimate Descent, operated on a bare-bones budget. They successfully reached their final destination on June 27.

“There were no social media campaigns, corporate sponsors, or expedition websites, just the essential ingredients for adventure—vision, creativity, and friendship,” Fitz Cahall of National Geographic writes.

Read all about their expedition here.