Greatest female Everest climber wants to inspire other women

KATHMANDU, Nepal — The most successful female Everest climber said after finishing her ninth ascent of the world's highest mountain that she wants to inspire all women so they too can achieve their dreams.

Lhakpa Sherpa was guiding some 50 climbers with her brother when she scaled the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak last week, breaking her own record for the most climbs of Mount Everest by a woman.

"If an uneducated woman who is a single mother can climb Everest nine times, any woman can achieve their dreams," Sherpa said in Kathmandu on Wednesday.

"I want be an inspiration to all the women in the world that they too can achieve their goal," she said.

The 44-year-old Sherpa never got a chance for formal education because she was already working carrying climbing gear and supplies for the trekkers.

She plans to climb the mountain again next year.

"People who are 70 years old are still climbing Everest, I am no where there," she said adding that she was healthy and fit to continue mountaineering.

Her recent climb was the toughest of the nine, she said, adding there was a lot of wind and snow and they had to wait a few days to make their climb to the summit.

"Only two of our clients did not make but most of them made it to the top and were happy clients," she said.

This successful expedition is likely to help her brother Mingma's mountaineering company grow. It would also mean that Lhakpa can continue to climb Everest.

She says she is also looking forward to seeing her three children back in Connecticut, where she works as a dishwasher at the Whole Foods Market in West Hartford.

At ceremony in Kathmandu on Wednesday, tourism community honored her and and the overall record-holder for successful Everest climbs, Kami Rita, who has reached the summit 22 times, for their achievement and contribution to mountaineering in Nepal.

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