Frontline World

NEPAL, Dreams of Chomolongma, May 2003


Related Features THE STORY
Synopsis of "Dreams of Chomolongma"

WHERE ARE THEY NOW
Update on the Women Climbers

INTERVIEW WITH SAPANA SAKYA
The Long Climb Up

THE LEGACY OF SHERPA WOMEN MOUNTAINEERS
A Nepali Heroine: Pasang Lhamu

FACTS & STATS
Nepal Country Profile

LINKS & RESOURCES
The Mount Everest Region, Sherpa Life, Nepali Women

MAP

REACT TO THIS STORY

   


Where Are They Now? ON THE TRAIL OF THE INTREPID CLIMBERS
Lhakp and her sister at a press conference. Photo by Deependra Bajracharya/Kantipur

Lhakpa Sherpa and her sister at a press conference. Photo by Deependra Bajracharya/Kantipur.
Lhakpa Sherpa
A Climbing Family

Note: At the time of this writing, Lhakpa Sherpa was climbing with a Romanian team, and with one of her younger sisters, Ming Kippa Sherpa. Her brother Mingma Gelu Sherpa, 24, a former Everest summiteer, was also trying his luck for the third time, while a cousin, Pasang Sherpa, was helping out at base camp.

"In phone conversations, both my sisters say they are feeling strong and healthy. They are not suffering from high altitude headaches. If the weather gives, they say they've got a very good chance. But strong winds and snow have blown away tents at base camp, leaving expedition teams running for cover and forcing climbers off the mountain.

"Ming Kippa's never done any climbing in her life. Of course, she's been grazing livestock at high altitudes since she was young and is very sturdy. So when she expressed an interest to climb, Lhakpa decided Ming Kippa would accompany her.

Lhakpa and her sister

Photo by Deependra Bajracharya/Kantipur.
"We are 12 siblings‹eight sisters and four brothers. Our mother is scheduled to arrive from our village in a week and another sister, Pasang, will be flying in from France. I'm sure we'll be able to see Lhakpa on TV again if she summits.

"Our family lives in the highlands. We own about 25 yaks, which produce milk and butter that we sell to villagers and to trekkers passing through. We run a small tea shop at the base of Mount Makalu [another 8,000-meter peak.] Since she summited Everest in 200, Lhapka has been going between the United States, where her boyfriend lives, and Nepal. She's guiding treks, working on her English, and trying to spend time with her son, who attends boarding school in Kathmandu. She's making sure that he gets a proper education."

*Update: On May 22, 2003, the day of FRONTLINE/World's broadcast of the "Dreams of Chomolongma" story, Lhakpa Sherpa summitted Everest for the third time, setting a world record for women.
Dawa Sherpa GO

Mingma Sherpa GO

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