Lhakpa Sherpa is not an unheard-of name around Denali, which is why we want to share her story with you.
Lhakpa has a harrowing story, growing up in the Makalu region of Nepal with four brothers and seven sisters. She served as a porter when she was 15 years old, an uncommon job for a female from Nepal and received no formal education. Now living in Connecticut since 2002, Lhakpa doesn’t drive a car and walks her two daughters to school, as well as the two miles to her job as a dishwasher at Whole Foods. This is all the training Lhakpa needs to summit Everest, as she has been quoted saying, “My body knows that I have already been this high. It’s like a computer. It figures out very quickly. My body knows the high altitude. It remembers.”
Lhakpa’s first Everest summit was in 2000, becoming the first Nepali woman to summit the mountain and return alive. Not much will stand in the way of Lhakpa’s Everest trips. She’s summited the mountain eight months post-partum and again later when she was two months pregnant. In 2015 she was on Everest when an avalanche killed 19 people. In May of 2018, Lhakpa summited Everest for the ninth time, beating her own record, but also the world record for women who have summited Everest. Her trips back to Nepal have become an annual tradition, and we’re sure to see her return many times after this spring.
Among her plans to summit Everest for a 10th time this spring, Lhakpa also plans to summit K2, the world’s second highest summit. We’ll be following along with Lhakpa as she travels back to Nepal in April.