Lhakpa Sherpa, a West Hartford resident originally from Nepal, reached the summit of Mount Everest on Wednesday morning for a record-breaking 10th time.
By Ronni Newton
Four years after her last record-breaking climb, West Hartford resident Lhakpa Sherpa broke the record again, becoming the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest – the world’s tallest peak – for the 10th time.
Sherpa, 48, a single mother with three children who has lived in West Hartford for nearly 20 years and most recently worked as a dishwasher at Whole Foods, has continued to break her own records with her climbs. Raised in Nepal, as the child of a family of climbers, in 2000 she was the first Nepali woman to successfully ascend and descend Mount Everest, which is more than 29,000 feet above sea level.
In 2019, when she was celebrated as a “Wonder Woman” by Malta House of Care, Sherpa said she was putting off climbing that year due to the death of her father.
“My dad passed away, so I cannot go,” she told We-Ha.com in April 2019. “I feel I lost my energy, lost my balance, and I want to stay with my children this year.”
Sherpa said that her father, who was her hero, and teacher, always encouraged her. Surrounding herself with nature “makes me feel good,” she said, and even the snow leopards don’t scare her.
The COVID-19 pandemic interfered with her climbing plans in 2020 and 2021.
Sherpa’s 15-year-old daughter, Shiny, a student at Conard High School, accompanied her mother to Everest Base Camp this year, where they posed with a Conard banner. Their journey began during April vacation from school, and Shiny is currently continuing her studies virtually.
The mother and daughter also carried an American and Connecticut flag, and a Whole Foods banner. “They give me power,” Lhakpa Sherpa posted on her Facebook page.
A crew working a documentary about Sherpa accompanied her on the climb to the summit this year. Eric Nelson, whose son, Chris, is directing the documentary, said Shiny was able to watch her mother via video from base camp.
Gelbu Goparma Sherpa told We-Ha.com that Shiny plans to accompany her mother to the summit next year.
The Himalayan Times reported that Sherpa reached the summit for her 10th time at 6:30 a.m. on May 12, 2022. According to that report, on this climb she followed the route taken by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary who first scaled Mount Everest for the first time in 1953. “I had trekked to the base camp all the way from Dolakha and Ramechhap via Salleri, the route which was used by the legendary climbers,” she told The Himalayan Times.
Lhakpa Sherpa not only climbs Mount Everest, but also leads climbs in New England and elsewhere in the world through her company, Cloudscape Climbing.
In February, before setting off for Mount. Everest, she posted on her Facebook page that she plans to climb K2 next, “to show the younger generations that women can do it.”
The Associated Press reported Thursday that Nepalese Sherpa guide, Kami Rita, broke his record for the most climbs of Mount Everest, reaching the summit for the 26th tie last Saturday. According to the AP, “Rita led a group of Sherpa climbers who fixed ropes along the route so that hundreds of other climbers and guides can make their way to the top of the mountain later this month.”
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