‘Queen of Everest’ Lhakpa Sherpa Bags Record 10th Summit

Lhakpa Sherpa, 48, has stepped onto the summit of Everest for the 10th time, breaking her own record. How she has managed these 10 summits is a remarkable story.

Twenty-two years ago, Lhakpa became the first Nepali woman to climb Everest (and make it down alive: Pasang Lamu Sherpa achieved the feat in 1993 but perished on the descent). To get that opportunity, she had taken the long, hard way from her village in the Makalu region, where she lived with 10 siblings. Lhakpa worked as a porter since she was 15.

Lhakpa (left) and her daughter hold the U.S. flag at Everest Base Camp. Photo: Lhakpa Sherpa


Climbed Everest shortly after giving birth

Shortly after, she met George Dijmarescu, a Romanian-American expedition leader. With him, she had two kids, summited Everest together five times between 2001 and 2006, and endured 12 years of a troubled marriage.

Once, she “climbed Everest eight months after giving birth to my first daughter,” she told the BBC in 2016, “and I climbed when I was two months pregnant with my smaller daughter. It was not easy, but I managed all right.”

As Dijmarescu’s wife, she also moved to the U.S., where she still lives after their divorce. She has broken records not only through her ever-increasing number of summits, but also by climbing together with her brother, Mingma Gelu, and sister Ming Kipa.

Lhakpa Sherpa with some of her Guinness Record certificates. After her summit today, she may get an updated one. Photo: Lhakpa Sherpa


Lhakpa currently lives as a single mother of three in Hartford, Connecticut. She supports herself and her family by working at the local Whole Foods Market. This spring, she returned to her birthplace with her daughter Shiny, now 15, and her niece Jangmu.

The two girls want to follow in Lhakpa’s footsteps in the mountains. And Lhakpa wants to climb K2 this summer if she can find the necessary funds. She tried once before, in 2010. She seems to be more than ready for the Savage Mountain.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.