Lhakpa talks of endurance after scaling Everest seven times

Kathmandu, May 27

“She (Mt Everest) was really calm and seemed just waiting to draw us to her cold embrace,” Lhakpa Sherpa, who arrived here Thursday night after reaching the roof of the world, said while beginning the conversation at her brother’s residence in Kathmandu.

Born in Makalu VDC, Sankhuwasabha, Lhakpa scaled Mt Everest from Tibet side for the seventh time on May 20. No other woman in the world has scaled the peak so many times. “For me, it’s all about the courage and endurance that the Nepali women have in abundance,” 43-year-old mother of three told this daily.

She said she even scaled Everest eight months after the birth of her first daughter and while she was two months pregnant with her second child.

Lhakpa, who grew up with 11 brothers and sisters, said mental strength was the key to success. “I feel stronger while being on the mountain and I did not train for the expeditions,” she said.

She said she decided to continue with climbing to encourage Nepali women to perform their best as well as to convey the message that the world climbers were always welcome to Nepal.

Lhakpa, who ended her 12 years of marriage with Romanian-American climber George Dijmarescu last year, proved that Nepali women could make the country proud despite all their hardships, Lhakpa’s brother Mingma Gelu told THT.

Mingma, who organised ‘Seven Summit Adventure Expedition’ for Lhakpa and 28 other climbers from Tibet this season, also successfully scaled Mt Everest nine times.

Lhakpa, who made it to Mt Everest for the sixth time in 2006 and first climbed the mountain from Nepal side in 2000. “I had reached to Camp 3 on K2 and spent two days there before the weather forced me to descend in 2011,” she said, adding that she would continue climbing bids in the coming years with a goal of scaling the world’s highest mountain 10 times. “I will again try it next year,” she said.

“Ten days later I will return to the US to celebrate the success with my kids,” said the former Seven-Eleven store worker, who lives in suburban Connecticut.

Nine Sherpas to be honoured

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will honour nine summit rope fixing Sherpa climbers who first stood atop the Mt Everest this season on the occasion of ninth International Mt Everest Day on Sunday, according to the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

“Nine Sherpas fixed the ropes risking their lives and their achievement is reflected in the successful ascent of Mt Everest by more than 400 climbers in the spring season,” NMA said in a statement, adding PM Oli will felicitate each of the courageous Sherpas with a cash prize of Rs 50,000 on the occasion of Mt Everest Day.