Mother of three has climbed Mount Everest 6 times, now trying again at the age of 40
This woman has climbed Mount Everest more than any other woman on this earth, yet she lives a life of obscurity in Connecticut. Lhakpa Sherpa has summited the Everest six times, yet the world does not know about her. Maybe this was the reason that Grayson Schaffer, Senior Editor at Outside decided to cover her story and bring her accomplishments in front of the world. Take a look at the amazing story of this woman who despite having suffered a lot, is now again going to climb to the top of the world.
1 The current life of the most successful female climber
Lhakpa Sherpa currently resides in Connecticut and juggles two jobs to earn $400 per week. She works as a housekeeper in an in-home health care center and also works as a cashier at a 7-Eleven store. Sherpa doesn’t know how to drive and so she walks her kids to school. She has two daughters from a marriage which recently ended in divorce and a son from a previous relationship. Lhakpa, who grew up in a village named Balkaharka in the Makalu region of the Himalayas of Nepal, is the middle child among 11 siblings. Her relationship with the mountains started very early when at the age of 15, she started carrying equipment of heavy loads ranging from 25 to 50 pounds. She entered her family’s climbing and trekking business as a porter when girls of her age used to help only in cooking. She says that her mother used to say that she always did everything like the boys, behaved like the boys as she was a tomboy.It was in Nepal only that she met her ex-husband in a popular bar in Kathmandu.
2 Her climbing achievements
Lhakpa Sherpa became the first Nepalese woman to summit Everest and ascend alive in 2000. She has six summit certificates, five of which are from the Chinese government and one is also from the Nepal government. She was born to climb mountains and never trained to do so. She has been so amazing that one time she had summited when her daughter was just of eight months. Another time, she was two months pregnant and even then she reached the Everest. But, even after so many achievements, not many know about her; in fact the Wikipedia page of Everest climbers also didn’t mention her name in the records section till the time Schaffer profiled her story which has been shared more than 76.1K times. Leave about the outside world, some of the people from her own area don’t know about her achievements.
3 Why does the world not know about her?
You must be wondering why she is not as popular as other climbers. Well, one of the reasons for her anonymity is that there is a perception that Sherpa people are excellent climbers as they are born and brought up in those regions. But in Lhakpa’s case, there seems to be some other reason as well. Five of her summits were organized by her ex-husband George Dijmarescu, whom she had married in 2002. And it so happened that during one of the summits in 2004, she was punched by Dijmarescu in front other teammates who were from Connecticut and since then Lhakpa has been too afraid to talk to the media.
4 Lhakpa Sherpa’s seventh attempt to climb the Everest
After being away from the mountains for more than a decade, she is again attempting to climb to the Mount Everest. In fact, she had tried it last year too, but then on 25th April, a devastating earthquake in Nepal forced the governments of Nepal and China to suspend the expeditions to the Everest.She has already left from Connecticut to be climb Mount Everest for the seventh time and this time the trip is being organized by the brother’s outfit named, Seven Summits Club.
On the passport, she is 43 years old, but probably she is 40, neither this fact nor the fact that she is going to do it after a ten-year hiatus seems to be budging her from her goal. She believes that her genetics and strong will help her in getting to the top, as they have done earlier.
5 A better life!
It’s not that she wouldn’t welcome some recognition, but a bad marriage had made her go into a cocoon. Though she is divorced and has the custody of both her girls and is living her life on her own terms, she is not at peace, according to Schaffer. The article also says that she is now loving all the freedom and she just wants to climb to the Everest and has no plans to shift back to Nepal as she has friends there in Connecticut. But, yes she wants that a film be made on her and she even wants to meet Oprah Winfrey. We really hope all her wishes do come true!!
You can read the full story at Outside Magazine.