WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A West Hartford mother is back home after climbing Mount Everest for the tenth time, breaking her own record.
At 48 years old, Lhakpa Sherpa has cemented herself as one of the all-time climbing greats, reaching the 29,000-foot Mount Everest summit.
But getting to the top of the record book did not come without mini Everests along the way.
“I never had a television, we never have a cell phone, my focus is 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.
By 2000, she climbed the mountain for the first time, becoming the first Nepali woman to do it.
Her passion for climbing extends to the gear she uses, and she explained how it all comes together and the oxygen mask that keeps her alive.
She continues to make the treacherous climb without the help of any physical trainers.
“People thinking about oh you know Everest, need to be very, very skinny. Of course you do not need to be skinny. Everest, need a little chubby, look like a bear,” Sherpa said.
The single mother of three resides in West Hartford in a small apartment.
“I definitely wish that we lived in like a house or something like bigger obviously but I know for my mom like coming here and living in an apartment, this is like the best for her, like the best it could get, because she came from literally almost nothing,” said Shiny Dijmarestu, Sherpa’s daughter.
Dijmarestu, 15, went with her mom to base camp for the first time in May for her tenth climb.
“I used to be a lot more nervous when she would leave. Now since she’s done it quite a few times, I’m not as nervous but I still have those moments where I’m like ‘umm,'” Dijmarestu said.
Sherpa said she wants to guide others to conquer the fear of climbing Everest. She’s hoping next up are her kids.
“I mean I don’t see the harm in trying, especially if I can go with my mom,” Dijmarestu said. “I would feel like I’m in good hands.”
Sherpa plans to keep climbing Everest for many years but right now she needs some time off, until September when she’ll pick up more dishwasher shifts at the nearby Whole Foods.
The mountain she hopes to climb next is K2 in Pakistan, which is the second highest in the world.