Gombu (79), died at his residence in Darjeeling yesterday after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son.
Remembering the youngest Sherpa on Hillary's Everest climb, Gill said, "I am shocked to hear Nawang Gombu's death.
He was my instructor in Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling in 1960, where I learnt mountaineering under Tenzing Norgay.
"We remained lifelong friend and as president of Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF) and later at the Himalayan Club, Mumbai, I had much to do with him and his family. We honoured him in Mumbai at Himalayan Club's annual function," he said.
"A lovable friend, full of humour, Nawang Gombu will be missed by the mountaineers world-wide," Gill added.