The most successful female climber of Mount Everest broke another record in reaching the top of the mountain a ninth time.
The climber is Lhakpa Sherpa. She is a 44-year-old single mother who lives in the United States with her three children. She was born in Nepal and has been climbing for many years.
Sherpa was guiding about 50 people up the mountain when she completed her latest climb on May 16. This broke her own record for the most climbs of Mount Everest by a woman. Her first successful attempt came in 2000, and she completed her eighth climb last spring.
She told the Associated Press the ninth climb was her hardest one yet. She said severe wind and snow forced the group to wait a few days before making their final climb to the top.
One member of the group was Sherpa’s brother, Mingma, who operates a mountaineering company in Nepal. “Only two of our clients did not make it, but most of them made it to the top and were happy,” Sherpa reported.
Lhakpa Sherpa says she hopes her climbs will inspire women everywhere to keep reaching for their own dreams. “If an uneducated woman who is a single mother can climb Everest nine times, any woman can achieve their dreams.”
Sherpa never got the chance to get a full education. She began working at a young age in jobs providing assistance and carrying supplies for Everest climbers. She now works as a dishwasher at a Whole Foods Market in West Hartford, Connecticut.
“My training is here...washing dishes, taking out garbage. I want a hard job,” she said. She told the publication that many climbers see Everest not just as a physical test, but also as a spiritual experience.
"We believe Everest is a god,” she said. “The Earth and the mother. Mount Everest and I have a connection. I feel it talking when snow blows on the top of the mountain.”
Sherpa told the Associated Press she still feels healthy and fit enough to keep mountaineering for years to come. “People who are 70 years old are still climbing Everest, I am no where there,” she said. She plans to climb the mountain again next year.
Nepalese mountaineer Kami Rita holds the record for most completed Everest climbs. The 48-year-old has reached the top of the mountain 22 times.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
The Associated Press reported this story. Bryan Lynn adapted it for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
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Words in This Story
client – n. someone who pays someone else for services or advice
inspire – v. to make someone want to do something or give an idea about what to do or create
achieve – v. to get or reach something by working hard
garbage – n. items that are no longer useful or wanted that have been thrown away
challenge – n. a difficult task or problem: something that is hard to do