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April 13 , 2009

White Sherpas


Patrick Cullinan is the first member of the Australian Defence Force to climb Mount Everest. He achieved this as part of the 1988 Australian Bicentennial Everest Expedition. Patrick's journey to the summit of Everest start with his days as a cadet at Duntroon and continued through his time as the commander of Climbing Troop at the Special Air Service Regiment. He takes us up Mount Gauri Shankar in Nepal (his apprenticeship), Broad Peak in Pakistan (the rehearsal) and then finally to Everest with the Bicentennial Expedition.The Expedition team decided to forgo the usual practice of using climbing sherpas, prompting the Sherpa Sungdare, who at the time had climbed Everest five times, to say to one of the Australian expedition members, 'You guys are White Sherpas.'

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