Dale Sto. Tomas Abenojar (born April 27, 1963) is a mountain guide by profession. On May 30, 2006, he was recognized by veteran Himalayan expedition chronicler Elizabeth Hawley as "the first Filipino" to reach the summit of Mount Everest. According to Hawley Dale reached the summit on May 15, 2006. Abenojar was certified by the China Tibet Mountaineering Association on May 20, 2006 to have summitted Everest via the North Col on May 15, 2006 at 10:45 a.m. Beijing time.
Dale Abenojar is the 2,614th Everest summiteer. In contrast, Leo Oracion is the 2,740th Everest summiteer. Both Abenojar and Oracion is in the full list of the 3,050 successful ascents of Mount Everest from 1953 to 2006. Under "Everest all" is a link to the entire list in Microsoft Excel Worksheet The Himalayan DataBase published by American Alpine Club had included Dale in the list of Everest North summitteers for Spring 2006 on May 15,.
On August 4, 2006, Dale's documentary film "Child in Everest" was shown to family, friends, supporters, media and representatives of the Philippine government. Curator of Malacañang Museum is now evaluating of giving Dale the presidential citation and recognition of "Champions for Life.".
The Discovery Channel though its Footage Source director Margaret Majorack has confirmed via e-mail to ABC 5 TV station's News & Current Affrairs Chief Atty. Dan De Padua that they had a 30-minute video footage of Dale at Camp 3 which is 8,300 m (27,390 ft). The film has a tag price of PHP 7 million
Dale was a former member of the University of the Philippines Mountaineers. He was the first Filipino to publicly announce the intention to climb Everest in 1994. His intention drew criticism from Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines headed by Rolando Francisco. The MFPI then wrote a letter to the President of the Philippines not to support his Everest Expedition. frogs
After 12 years he resumed his bid to climb Everest. He pawned his car, a Range Rover
to support his climb. During the early stage of his expedition he took a short alpine mountaineering course provided by his Sherpa and was given proper acclimatization
. In performing the first acclimatization in North Col
Dale spew blood due to lung infection. He was brought down with the assistance of two Sherpas and treated by the Indian doctor in Base Camp. After recuperating he then proceeded to assault the summit. His summit assault was monitored by radio communication between Monterosa Treks and Expeditions camp manager Ram Krishna and Abenojar's lead trekking guide Tsiring Jangbu Sherpa from China Base Camp at 5400m on May 10
, Advance Base Camp at 6400m on May 10
, North Col-Camp 1 at 7000m on May 12
, Camp 2 at 7900m on May 13
, Camp 3 at 8300m on May 14
and on the summit day at 8848m on May 15
at 10:45 a.m. Beijing time.
Upon arriving in the Philippines he and his sherpa were brought to Cardinal Santos Hospital. Because Dale was suffering from severe frostbite climbing Everest, his left big toe had to be amputated while his sherpa had frostbite to all his toes and had to be amputated as well. Sports medicine surgeon Dr. Gar Eufemio and his team had waived all their professional fees to help the cash-straffed Abenojar.
Lucio Tan, a sponsor of FPMEE visited him, paid the hospital bills and praised his achievement..
Summit First News
GMA7 TV reported on April 28
that Mountaineers Romi Garduce, Del Adelujar (spelled correctly as Dale Abenojar), and the Philippine Everest team are the acknowledged Filipinos currently on Mt. Everest to try their luck in becoming the first Filipinos to reach the peak of the mountain
On May 11, GMA7 News said that Filipino mountaineer Dale Abenojar has not backed out of an international expedition to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, Abenojar is part of a 15-member team from different countries which would take the North Col, the route from Tibet
On May 15, Abenojar's summit date, GMA7 News reported that another Filipino mountaineer Dale Abenojar was seen climbing the mountain from the Tibet side
Newspapers in the Philippines reported a bitter rivalry between the maverick Dale Abenojar, who claimed the first Filipino ascent via the Northeast Ridge on May 15, and a national team that reached the summit from the south side two days later. The news was first reported in Philippine media on May 17, 2006 by GMA 7 and ABS-CBN, but actually first came to light through a posting on May 16, 2006 by Outdoor News Wire and Mt. Everest.Net.
The Filipino climbers on the South Col. (Leo Oracion, Erwin Emata and Romeo Garduce) had reached the peak of Everest, all of whom had climbed the Nepalese side of the mountain. For this, Oracion and Emata were awarded Athletes of the year by the Philippine Sportswriter Association.. Garduce on the other hand was awarded Order of Lakandulaby Malacañang. However, Abenojar was not included in these awards.
- The Himalayan Database published by American Alpine Club had included Dale in the list of Everest North summitteers for Spring 2006 on May 15 Dale summit feat is disputed based also on the same list.
- China Tibet Mountaineering Association - Abenojar was certified by the CTMA on May 20, 2006 to have summitted Everest via the North Col on May 15, 2006 at 10:45 a.m. Beijing time. CTMA had awarded Dale Abenojar a summit certificate listing his Mount Everest summit ascent on 15 May 2006 at 8:45am Nepal time. In contrast, The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Government of Nepal had awarded Leo a summit certificate making his Mount Everest South Col summit ascent on 15 May 2006.
- Elizabeth Hawley - On Hawley's interview at GMA-7 she said "I met him myself. I interviewed him at his request. I believe he reached the summit. I believe him. It has been disputed, but he has photos and I have copies (of the photos)". One of the photos, Hawley said, clearly "showed Mt. Makalu in the background. Mt. Makalu is not visible anywhere below 8500m on the North side". Mounteverest.net states that the investigative body in Everest who have earned the respect of International Mountaineering community is Ms Hawley. Another organization who gathered information on Everest is EverestNews.com. Their website have kept summit list from 1950 to 2005.
- Summit/Near Summit Witnesses
- a) Vince Waters - Hawley said that Waters, a former Canadian Air Force officer, also testified to her that he saw someone wearing the same clothes as Dale at 7900m on May 16, 2006. According to Mr. Waters, he spoke to Dale about letting him use the spare oxygen bottles Dale had left at his camp three tent just in case he needed oxygen later. Dale reached the peak with Tsiring Jangbu Sherpa, Hawley added.
- b) Pasang Dorchi Sherpa - Two-time Everest summiteer and trekking guide Pasang saw Dale and Tsiring climb the 2nd step at 8700m until both of them reached the top of the step on the early morning of May 15, 2006. Pasang had to turn back from the base of the 2nd step after unloading two of Abenojar's spare oxygen bottles from his backpack because of severe frostbite to all of his toes. The top of the 2nd step to the summit is 148 meters.
- c) Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa - Tshiring said that it was he who took the photographs of Abenojar at the top of Everest on May 15, 2006 at 10:45 a.m. Beijing time. Tshiring is a Himalayan trekking guide and a three-time Everest summiteer.
- d) Discovery Channel production crew had interviewed Abenojar at 8300m near the place where David Sharp died/
- * Celebrates his birthday in Everest - April 27, 2006
- * Descended on a Yak - May 7, 2006
- * Rope fixed on the north side (from the bottom to the summit ). - May 9, 2006
- * Summit Bid from 6500m - May 12, 2006
- * Summit - May 15, 2006
- * Going down on a Yak in middle camp - May 18, 2006
- * Headed for Kathmandu Nepal - May 20, 2006
- * CTMA Certification announced by Philstar- May 30, 2006
- * Interview by Secretary of Elizabeth Hawley - May 30, 2006
- * Certified by Elizabeth Hawley - June 14, 2006
- * Frostbite toe was reported by GMA news -
- * Arrival in the Philippines
2007 Sherpa Controversy
Sherpas say Abenojar did not reach summit
According to Dr. Ted Esguerra, the erstwhile FPMEE expedition doctor of the disbanded First Philippine Mount Everest Expedition (FPMEE) team revealed that the Nepali sherpas (Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa and Pasang Dorchi Sherpa) who escorted Dale Abenojar, the 43-year-old Filipino adventure sportsman who claims to have reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain last year, are now denying that he accomplished the feat. Dr. Esguerra who is now in China Base Camp in Tibet providing support to the three Filipinas attempting to become the first Southeast Asian women to reach the top of Mount Everest this 2007 climbing season, he had talked with Abenojars' sherpas and gotten their statements that Abenojar had climbed only up to the height of 8,000 meters of the 8844.43-meter or 29,017-foot tall mountain last May (2006). "We have the video interview", Esguerra told The Philippine STAR newspaper reporter Allan Rainier Ronda in a text message from China Base Camp in Tibet.
Sherpa denies saying Abenojar failed in Everest attempt A Nepali porter and guide (Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa) denied telling the disbanded First Philippine Mount Everest Expedition (FPMEE) that 44-year-old Filipino adventure sportsman Dale Abenojar did not reach the top of Mount Everest on May 15, 2006. In a telephone interview from Nepal made by Philippine STAR newspaper reporter Allan Rainier Ronda, Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa told The Philippine STAR he had not spoken with Dr. Ted Esguerra, the erstwhile expedition doctor of FPMEE or anybody from that group. "I didn’t talk to anybody", Tshiring said. "He (Abenojar) reached the top. That is the truth." Tshiring, who guided Abenojar to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, said the summit certificate issued by the China-Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) to Abenojar should be accepted as final authority. "They (CTMA) interviewed Dale and asked him about his experience, Tshiring said.
"I was also interviewed. But not together, you know. And the other climbers who climbed to the top on that day were interviewed. And from the interviews, they issue the certificates."
According to Abenojar’s certificate, the CTMA certified that he had reached the summit of Mount Everest in the morning of May 15, 2006 through Tibet, China or north slope or north col of the legendary peak. The FPMEE has persistently disputed Abenojar’s feat of outracing their two members Leo Oracion and Erwin "Pastor" Emata, who had climbed to the top of Mount Everest via the Nepal side or the south slope and reached it on May 17 and 18, 2006. The FPMEE had dismissed Abenojar’s CTMA summit certificate as a "forgery" and his claim a "hoax", and maintained that Oracion and Emata were the first and second Filipinos to conquer Mount Everest.
Highlights of the documentary film
Dale Abenojar: Did He or Didn't He Scale Mount Everest - "CHILD IN EVEREST": A DOCUMENTARY
Many are skeptical that he made it to the summit and was actually able to scale the highest mountain in the world. Dale Abenojar, whose lifelong dream it was to conquer Mount Everest, and was the First Filipino to publicly announce his intention to do so back in 1994, claims he did and has proof to show for it.
On May 15, 2006 at 10:45 am Chinese time (8:45 am Nepal time), with neither financial backing nor high altitude mountaineering experience, Dale made it and indeed fulfilled his life long dream of getting to the top of Mt. Everest. It wasn't easy. He had lost his left big toe to frostbite.
With him were Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa and Pasang Dorchi Sherpa. The two extra-ordinary Mt. Everest guides who assisted our own independent Filipino climber in his Mt. Everest expedition. The two-time Everest summiteer Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa, successfully climbed both the North and South side, led Dale all the way to the summit for his third time. Unfortunately, Pasang Dorchi Sherpa- a two time Everest summiteer who lost all his toes to frostbite did not make it.
Abenojar's feat had been certified by the Mountaineering Association of Tibet of the Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China and corroborated by a respected Himalayan expedition American chronicler, Ms. Elisabeth Hawley. But the long and arduous task of making people believe without a doubt that indeed he made it to the summit of Mt. Everest has just begun.
The documentary film, "Child In Everest" will be a special feature of ABC News & Public Affairs on Friday, March 23 at 10-11 p.m. Robin Mendoza, the Executive Producer and Media Manager for "Child in Everest" says the video documentary is a raw and truthful account of Dale's momentous high altitude climb. (Gene Buenaventura handled production management, editing by Orly Lavardo, and direction by Gus Cruz.) "Child in Everest" shows Dale and his team's milestones as they climbed the perilous North Face of Mt. Everest, Dale in North Col with Tsiring Jangbu Sherpa (7000m), a clear day with background of Mt. Makalu (8900m), the background footage of the 2nd Step (8500m) and a video clip of his descent right below the summit. Did or didn't Dale conquer the North Face and reach the summit? See for yourself on Friday, March 23 at 10 p.m. on ABC 5.
The documentary also showed revealing and contrasting interviews of Abenojar's wife Lisa and Ramkrishna Tripathi, the Nepalese camp manager of the Monterosa International Treks and Expedition. The interview highlighted the contrast on opinion and observation including locations, Liza in Manila and Ram in the heart of Katmandu. It also includes Canadian-Australian Vince Walters, who actually was the key person that made Elisabeth Hawley eventually convinced on the summit issue.
- North Col with Tsiring Sherpa (7000m )
- Background footage of the 2nd Step (8700m )
- Disputed summit picture
May 15 summit schedule
- Himex Team 6:15a - 7:03a Nepal Time
- Turkish Team 7:00a - 7:30a Nepal Time wiki
- Dale Abenojar 8:30a - 9:00a Nepal Time
- Valdimer Lande 9:00a - 9:30a Nepal Timehttp://www.himalayandatabase.com/2006%20Season%20Lists/2006%20Spring%20A5.html
- Ravichandran Tharumalingam 2:00p - 2:30p Nepal Time
Note : All times are based on Kathmandu Standard Time (UTC+5:45)
Dale Abenojar is married to Liza Abenojar. They have four children namely Alexandra, Katrina, Daniela and Rafaela Dale. He is the eldest among the four children of Dantes and Leticia Abenojar. He has three siblings, Nuel, Ariel and Leda.
Dale Sto. Tomas Abenojar was baptized as a United Methodist
, a Protestant
denomination. Dale, his wife and children regularly attends church services at the Victory Christian Fellowship
in U.P. Diliman, Quezon City.
- Living summit witness, Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa, three-time Everest summiteer said. "He (Abenojar) reached the top. That is the truth."
- Abenojar was certified by the China Tibet Mountaineering Association on May 20, 2006 to have summitted Everest via the North Col on May 15, 2006 at 10:45 a.m. Beijing time.
- On May 30, 2006, he was recognized by veteran Himalayan expedition chronicler Elizabeth Hawley as "the first Filipino" to reach the summit of Mount Everest
- The Himalayan DataBase published by American Alpine Club had included Dale in the list of Everest North summitteers for Spring 2006 on May 15
- Abenojar is in the full list of the 3,050 successful ascents of Mount Everest to March 2007. Under "Everest all" is a link to the entire list in Microsoft Excel Worksheet
- Commended by Sen. Richard Gordon for his efforts to climb Everest
- Recognized by the Nepal Travel Trade Reporter (Nepal's leading travel trade journal) as the first Filipino to scale the world's highest peak, Mt. Everest from North Col, Tibet side on May 15, 2006 (vol.IX/issue no.29/may29-june4,2006/feat section/page26,29)
- Recognized by DZME hosts Jessie Paredes and Manny Orlina as the first Filipino to summit Mt. Everest
- Recognized as the first Filipino to summit Mt. Everest on the TV program "Pilipinas Ngayon Na ", hosted by Undersecretary Robert Rivera of the Malacañang Press Office and co-hosted Nikka Cleofe-Alejar
- Climb Everest North side again in 2007 without the aid of supplemental oxygen..
- Fund charities thru his Everest climb.
- Scale the Seven Summits all in one year
List of Philippine Adventure Sports
- 1991 member of the first group (Anthropologist Padma Perez , London-based graphic artist Arnan de Leon, Australia-based rock climber Michael Angelo Duran) of mountain bikers to summit Mount Pulag
- 1992 the first solo survival longtitudinal trek (East to West Coast) across the Palawan Island using the Mt. Cleopatra Needle (5,225 ft 1,593 m) summit route, Saint Paul Mountain Range. The trek was monitored by Radyo Ng Bayan , Puerto Princesa , Palawan.
- December 27, 1994 to Jan 3, 1995 member of the first mountaineering group (Congress Mountaineers -now called, The Association of Philippine Mountaineers) to traverse Mt. Pinatubo's crater rim and lake after its eruption. The mountaineers led by Jules Calagui were sponsored by Panasonic and Purefoods
- 1996 first motorcycle trials summit ascent of Mount Apo. Dale's summit photos was taken by George C. Tapan , one of the Philippines's well-known travel photographer. Dale was also featured in The Philippine StarWeek Magazine (coverpage/sundaymagazine/vol.X/no.15/may26,1996/page9,10,11). and Asia Magazine(page3/nov1-3,1996/Asia magazine/GPO Box34, Hong Kong/(852)26808583).
- 1999 over-all champion of the Bayfresh National 4x4 Off-road Championship. Dale used a shortened wheelbase off-road race-ready 1977 Range Rover Classic.
- 2001 over-all champion of the Tough Truck Challenge National 4x4 Off-road Championship organized by the Manila Off-roaders Inc Dale used a shortened wheelbase off-road race-ready 1977 Range Rover Classic.
- May 2004 first four-wheel drive vehicle ascent of Mt. Pinatubo's Crater Rim using a rock crawler-modified 1977 Range Rover Classic. The event was featured in the Philstar motoring news.