WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A West Hartford mom is back home after climbing Mount Everest for the tenth time and beating her own record.
At 48, Lhakpa Sherpa has established himself as one of the climbing greats of all time, reaching the 29,000-foot summit of Mount Everest.
But climbing to the top of the record book didn’t come without mini-Everests along the way.
“I never had a TV, we never have a cell phone, my focus is on the nature of life, you know, I see beautiful mountains,” Sherpa said.
Her days of poverty go back to Nepal, where she grew up in a small village. As a teenager, she got to know the mountain well, working as a porter for other climbers.
In 2000, she scaled the mountain for the first time, becoming the first woman from Nepal.
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Her passion for climbing extends to the gear she uses and she explained how it all connects and the oxygen mask that keeps her alive.
She continues the treacherous climb without the help of a fitness trainer.
“People who think of Everest must be very, very thin. Of course you don’t have to be skinny. Everest, must be a bit chubby, looks like a bear,” Sherpa said.
The single mother of three lives in West Hartford in a small apartment.
“I definitely wish we lived like a house or something bigger, but I know my mum likes to come here and live in an apartment, that’s the best for her, like the best it can get, because they came from literally almost nothing,” said Shiny Dijmarestu, Sherpa’s daughter.
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15-year-old Dijmarestu went to base camp with her mother for the first time in May for her tenth ascent.
“I used to be a lot more nervous about her going. Now that she’s done it quite a few times, I’m not that nervous, but I still have those moments where I’m like, ‘um,'” Dijmarestu said.
Sherpa said she wants to guide others to overcome the fear of climbing Everest. She hopes her children will be next.
“I mean, I don’t see any harm in trying, especially if I can go with my mother,” said Dijmarestu. “I would feel in good hands.”
Sherpa plans to climb Everest for many years to come, but right now she needs some time off until September, when she’ll take on more dishwasher shifts at nearby Whole Foods.
The mountain she wants to climb next is K2 in Pakistan, the second highest in the world.