"I want to show the world I can do it. I want to show women who look like me that they can do it, too."
Lhakpa was the first Nepalese woman to summit Everest and descend alive, which she accomplished in the spring of 2000. With nine summits, she holds the world record for women. She plans to summit the world’s highest mountain again in the spring of 2020, but as an unsponsored athlete and single mother of three, it’s difficult to afford training and travel. She currently works at Whole Foods washing dishes, making minimum wage.
Lhakpa Sherpa summited Everest eight months after the birth of her first child, and again while two months pregnant with Shiny. Now a teenager, her daughter Shiny says of her mother: ‘I’m proud of her, but I worry.’