WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Lhakpa Sherpa spends most of the year washing dishes at a supermarket in Connecticut. But once a year she heads back to her native Nepal to try and break her own record for successful summits of Mount Everest by a woman.
The 44-year-old is back in the Himalayas this month, attempting to summit the world’s highest peak for a ninth time, working for an expedition company run by her brother.
Lhakpa says Sherpa women were not allowed to climb or even go to school when she was growing up there. She became the first woman from Nepal to summit Everest and return alive in 2000.
But she lives in relative anonymity in Connecticut in a small two-bedroom apartment with her two daughters. She says she doesn’t need to be famous and is just happy that she can continue climbing.