Lhakpa Sherpa reached the summit of the Earth’s highest mountain on Friday for the seventh time, which currently makes her the only woman to have scaled the mountain this many times in history. The US resident of Nepalese descent joined more than fifteen other mountain climbers who reached the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak on Friday morning from the climbing route in the north (Tibet).
And apparently it runs in the family.
In May 2003, she summited the mountain with her sister and brother, who has scaled the summit 8 times. Her youngest sister is recognized as the youngest woman at the age of 15 to have summited Mount Everest. Lhakpa has always had a strong desire to follow in the footsteps of Pasang Lhamu, the first Nepali woman to successfully reach Everest’s peak, who unfortunately died on her way down.
To ascend Mount Everest is quite a feat, and for professional, high-altitude climbers around the world, reaching the Himalayan peak represents the pinnacle of career success. In 1953, New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary and Tibetan climber Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach the summit, and for more than 60 years since that event, various restrictions have been put on prospective climbers based on age, experience level and physical ability.
While more than 250 climbers have died since the first successful ascent, it is clear in Lhakpa’s case that purpose and passion trumped all else. She finally received permission from the Nepali government to scale the mount. “They were scared,” she said in an interview with Outside Magazine. “And me, I say, I wanna go to the summit. Really this is my dream.”
Image: Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty
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