A local of the Makalu region, Ankaji started guiding when he was 22. This year at age 36, he beat many guides more than 10 years younger in age to win a competitive spot in the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations Aspiring Guides programme. This programme was his one personal ambition to formalise his extensive years of experience and love of mountaineering. His list of accomplishments included several 8000m summits (Everest, Manaslu, Cho Oyu, Shishapangma). His fitness was incredible, he was literally a lean mean fighting machine. Last year, after pulling off two fast ascents of Cho Oyu and Shishapangma, Ankaji came to give us a hand on Ama Dablam with hardly a moments rest in between! He was an exceptional guide respected by everyone.
However, it was Ankaji's warm personality that really stood him out as a guide, friend and father. He was widely loved for his friendliness and team-orientated work ethic. It's countless the number of times clients expressed to me appreciation of Ankaji's caring nature when they felt unwell or fear during a trip. His kindness touched everyone who was fortunate enough to have known him. Undoubtably his selfless personality stems from his love for his family of six children (three daughters and three sons), whom he was raising almost single-handedly. For a guy who always smiled, laughed and loved life, you would have never guessed that life was in fact, less than easy for him. Ankaji wasn't just a guide; he was a good friend, supportive teammate, climbing buddy and a brother. We will miss you kaji.