3 record-holder women to climb Mt Kanchenjunga next spring

KATHMANDU: Three record-holder women climbers today announced that they would attempt to climb the world’s third highest peak in the next spring season with an aim to add a new feather to their caps.

Maya Sherpa (37), Dawa Yangzum Sherpa (27) and Pasang Lhamu Sherpa (31), the self-made climbers who set the world record for Nepal after successfully scaling the Mt K2 (8,611m) in 2014 said that they aimed to reach the top of Mt Kanchenjunga (8,586 m) in April/May, 2017.

“Three Women: Three Tops”, Maya, the team leader shared a slogan of their expedition.

The team had successfully scaled the Mt Everest in 2007. It had also become the first Nepali women's team to successfully climb the Mt K2, the world’s second highest peak in 2014.

Commemorating with the diamond jubilee of Mt Kanchenjunga's first ascent, the team, if successful, would also set a world record, becoming the first Nepali women's expedition to climb the Mt Kanchenjunga.

Till date, only nine women climbers, all foreigners, had stood atop the country’s second highest peak in Taplejung district.

According to the Department of Tourism, altogether 344 climbers successfully climbed the mountain since a British expedition led by renowned climber Sir Charles Evans, along with Joe Brown and George Christopher Band, made the first successful ascent of Mt Kanchenjunga on May 25, 1955.

President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, Ang Tshering Sherpa, and First Vice-President of Trekking Agents Association of Nepal, Tashi Lakpa Sherpa wished the team for the success.

The Seven Summit Treks also announced to support the team with Rs 500,000 to commence with their expedition.

Born in Okhaldhunga, Maya also leads the Everest Summiteers Association.

“I have already climbed the Mt Everest three times,” she said. She also successfully stood atop the Himlung Himal (7,126 m) in the fall season becoming the first Nepali woman to climb the peak of the Manaslu Himalaya range in western Nepal last month.

Sherpa is also the first Nepali woman to climb the Ama Dablam (6,812 m), the Baruntse (7,125 m), the Pumori (7,145 m) and the Cho-Oyu (8,201 m).

The three-time Everest summiteer also became the first Nepali climber to make an ascent to Khan Tengri (7,010m) in Kyrgyzstan. “The message we want to deliver is: Nepal’s mountain are safe,” she said.

A permanent resident of Dolakha district, Dawa Yangzum said that they wanted to explore a message to the world that there was an urgent need to raise awareness about global warming.

She completed a 350-km Everest sky race and became the second in female competition in 2010.

She also completed the 350-km Annapurna Mandala Trail.

She was the first Nepali woman to complete the climbing rescue ranger at the Mt Rainier.

She also climbed the Yala Peak in 2009, the Ama Adablam in 2011, the Island Peak, the Grand Tetons USA, the Yala Peak and the first ascent of Chiki Go, Rolwaling valley in 2010.

Solukhumbu’s Pasang Lhamu, who is now attempting to climb the Mt Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western hemisphere, would join the team after she would return home next month.

Pasang Lhamu climbed the Mt Everest from the Tibet side and other peaks including the Yala Peak, the Nangpai Gusung, the,Ama Dablam and the Mt Putta Hiunculi among others.

She is the first Nepali female mountaineering instructor.