Phunuru was born in 1980 and grew up in Phortse, the backyard of the tallest mountain on earth, Everest. He started mountaineering at the age of 17 as a Sherpa for the International Mountain Guides company. Out of over a dozen mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas, Phunuru has submitted Everest (8848M) 6 times, Amadablam (6812M) 2 times and Choyo (8201M) an amazing 12 times. Because of his skill set and his passion for working in the outdoors, Phunuru got an opportunity to work as a first Nepali Ranger in the Denali National Park and Mt. Rainer National Park in the USA in 2009. In the same year, he was awarded a scholarship to do a NOLS mountaineering course in Wyoming, USA where he learned and shared more about leadership and outdoor skills with his group.
Phunuru, now leads trekking and mountaineering expeditions for Himalayan Quests during the main seasons, while during the winter months, he teaches ice climbing to high altitude Sherpas for the Khumbu Climbing Centre in his native village of Phortse.