42-year Sherpa woman from US summits Everest for record 7th time

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: May 20, 2016 19:42 IST
Nepalese mountaineer Lhakpa Sherpa before leaving for Everest last month. (AFP)

A 42-year-old Sherpa woman from the US reached the summit of Mount Everest for the seventh time on Friday, breaking her own record as the most successful female climber on the world’s tallest peak.

Lhakpa Sherpa, who was born in Nepal and is now based in Connecticut, reached the 8,848-metre peak from the Tibetan side early on Friday morning, her expedition’s organiser said. 

“She reached the summit at 5 am along with 17 other climbers from our team. They are on their way down to the Advanced Base Camp,” Rajeev Shrestha of Kathmandu-based 7 Summits Adventure told Hindustan Times.

Sherpa, a permanent resident of the US who works as a cashier in a convenience store and is also a housekeeper, reached the peak for the first time in 2000. She repeated her feat five more times by 2006. 

After staying away from the peak for almost a decade to raise her children, she attempted to better her record last year. 

But was forced to abandon her attempt when an avalanche triggered by the April 25 earthquake claimed 19 lives on the Nepal side of the mountain and led to all expeditions being suspended.

The record for most successful ascents of Everest is held by two Sherpa men born in Nepal - Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi Sherpa - who have reached the peak 21 times. 

More than 40 climbers reached the summit from the Nepal side on Friday, taking the total number of successful climbers this season to more than 330.

“From May 11 to May 16, 88 climbers had reached the peak. Another 202 more scaled it on Thursday. More than 40 were successful on Friday and we are expecting over 80 more summits on Saturday,” Gyanendra Shrestha, a tourism department official, told Hindustan Times on phone from the Everest Base Camp.

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