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News from the Nepalese Women's Millenium Expedition and more

Kathmandu, 14 April 2000

There are currently 12 expeditions at the Nepalese basecamp and slightly more in Tibet. Amongst the various noteworthy expeditions trying to reach the summit via the South Col and Southeast Ridge is a group of five Sherpa women.

The Italian Simone Moro is also active on the South side and later this month he will attempt the hitherto unclimbed Everest - Lhotse Traverse. Before leaving he spoke to Mnet about his project.
  
Nepalese Woman Millennium Everest Expedition

Until now most Sherpa women have not had the opportunity to follow anything other than the traditional roles in the home, on the farm or in lodges whilst their children, husbands or fathers have helped mountaineers reach the highest summits on earth.

Five Sherpa women, Mingma Yangi Sherpa, Dolma Sherpa, Lapka Sherpa (expedition leader), Dawa Yangzi Sherpa and Kasang Dikki Sherpa, are now adding a new chapter to history by entering what has traditionally been a male-dominated field.

Pasang Lamu, the first Nepalese woman to climb Everest, died during the descent, and even today few women Sherpa climb any higher than basecamp, where they work as cooks.

"We are tired of living in the shadow of our men" says Mingma Sherpa, mother-of-two and spokeswoman for the team. "If they (the men) can do it, then certainly so can we. We will show that we aren't inferior, on the contrary, perhaps we'll do it better than them."

The idea began "when Pasang Sherpa spent the night in my Lodge before climbing Everest and stated that we shouldn't let ourselves be intimidated by our dreams. That very day I decided to make this dream come true for our Sherpa women" explains Mingma Sherpa.

None of the team members have yet climbed any 8000m peaks. They have prepared for the expedition in the Langtang valley where, according to one of their companions, they demonstrated a high level of motivation and technical ability.
Speed record attempt from the South side

Last year Babu Chiri Sherpa spent a record breaking 21 hours on the summit of Everest.

This year he will leave basecamp (5300m) attempting to beat the speed record of 20 hours and 24 min, set in 1998 by his compatriot Kaji Sherpa.

Babu Chiri Sherpa hopes to reach the summit in just 16 hours, slicing over 4 hours off the record.



The youngest person on Everest

Temba (Pemba) Sherpa
, who is just 14, will attempt to reach the summit of Everest this month.

Sponsored by various Nepalese companies, he will also install a bronze Buddha on the summit. "I would like to take the image of Buddha and pray for peace in the world".

The young mountaineer has no doubts about his chances of success: "I trust that I will reach the summit, I've trained specifically and I'll do it."

If all goes according to plan, Temba and the team of Sherpas should reach the summit on 18 May, the day Buddha was born and died.






Information:
© Navyo Eller / Navyo Nepal www.navyonepal.com
Navyo
Nepal
With friends from the Himalaya

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