Born and raised in Khumbu, later migrating to Darjeeling, Ang Tharkay’s first expedition was to Kangchenjunga in 1931. He was on Everest in 1933, 1935, and 1938, when he was cook and sirdar, having been formally made sirdar for the first time on Nanda Devi in 1934. He was exceptional as both climber and sirdar, and his character won high praise from all who knew him.
He went to Annapurna with the French in 1950, to Everest in 1951, to Cho Oyu in 1952, to both Dhaulagiri and Nun in 1953, to Makalu in 1954, and finally to Everest with the Indians in 1962.
In his last years, he farmed a large parcel of land to the south of Kathmandu.