Tuesday Aug 9, 2022
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Pasang Lhamu Sherpa: A source of inspiration for Nepalese women

2022 Apr 22, 20:05, Kathmandu

It has been 29 years since Pasang Lhamu Sherpa climbed the world's highest peak, Mount Everest. She climbed Mt. Everest on 22 April, 1993, representing all Nepali women.

Earlier, in 1975, Junko Tabei, a Japanese woman, became the first woman to climb Mt Everest. However, no Nepalese woman had achieved this feat back then. In this connection, Pasang Lhamu did not dare to climb Mt. Everest.

Pasang Lhamu was born in the district of Solukhumbu on 16 December, 1961. As a child, she started trekking in the mountains following her father, Late Phurvakitar Sherpa. Later, when she became an owner of a trekking company, her love for mountains grew. In this process, she had even climbed some mountains at home and abroad like Mount Cho Oyu, Yala Peak, Pisang and Mount Blanc.

Her becoming a mother of three children did not deter her desire to climb mountains. Accordingly, she had set a goal to climb Mt. Everest. Although her three attempts failed, her determination was strong.

April 22, 1993 holds a special place in history for Nepalese women. Pasang Lhamu had reached the top of Mt. Everest in her fourth attempt. On the way back, Sonam Chhiring Sherpa, a member of her team, fell seriously ill. It would have been unethical for Pasang Lhamu to leave her teammate behind. Sending their other friends to get oxygen cylinders, she stayed with Sonam Chhiring.

However, when the weather suddenly turned bad, other members of her team were not able to aide Pasang Lhamu and Sonam Chhiring in their rescue. Thus, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the first Nepalese woman to reach the summit of Mt Everest, passed away. After the weather improved, her body was recovered and brought to Kathmandu. Her funeral procession was attended by thousands of people.

The Government of Nepal has declared the late Pasang Lhamu Sherpa a national hero. The government has named the 7315 meters high Jasamba Mountain as Pasang Lhamu Mountain. The 117 km long highway from Trishuli to Dhunche has been named as Pasanglhamu Highway. Postal stamps have been published in her name. An assembly hall has also been built in her name in Jhapa.

Currently, the biography of Pasang Lhamu is taught in schools.

Nepali women take Pasang Lhamu as a source of inspiration. It has been 29 years since Pasang Lhamu left this world, but her legacy still carries on.


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