Nepalese mountaineer Phunjo Lama sets new women’s record for climbing Everest

Nepalese mountaineer Phunjo Lama reached the summit of Everest on Thursday May 23 at 2:31 p.m., breaking the record for the fastest ascent of Everest by a woman, a Nepalese tourism official announced. “She left at 3:52 p.m. on May 22 and reached the summit at 6:23 a.m. on May 23”said Khim Lal Gautam, head of the local tourism office at the base camp.

Phunjo Lama, who is in her thirties, beat the previous record, which dated from 2021, by eleven hours. Earlier this month, while still at Everest base camp, she declared in a message on Facebook that she was “100% safe” to reach the top of “the Mother Goddess”.

In 2018, Phunjo Lama broke the record for the fastest ascent by a woman by climbing to the summit of Everest in 39 hours 6 minutes. This record was then broken in 2021 by Ada Tsang Yin-hung, from Hong Kong, who reached the summit in 25 hours 50 minutes. Nepalese mountaineer Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa holds the record for the fastest ascent of Everest by a man, having reached the summit in 10 hours 56 minutes in 2003.

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” A source of inspiration “

Phunjo Lama is a mountain guide and practices helicopter sling rescue – an operation consisting of exiting the aircraft in flight while being attached to a long line equipped with a sling to rescue injured people and reel them in when the terrain is too dangerous or impassable for a helicopter to approach or land.

She has climbed some of the world’s highest peaks, including Manaslu and Cho Oyu. “She is very courageous and determined (…) and trained hard to reach her peak”said Maya Sherpa, another climber. “Her record is a source of inspiration for Nepalese mountaineers. »

She accomplished her feat just as the death of Kenyan mountaineer Joshua Cheruiyot Kirui was announced. Contact with the 40-year-old climber and his missing Nepalese guide Nawang Sherpa, 44, was lost on Wednesday morning on Everest. This death is the sixth this mountaineering season in Nepal, and the third in Everest.

At the same time, searches continue to find British mountaineer Daniel Paul Paterson, 40, and his guide, Pas Tenji Sherpa, 21, who disappeared Tuesday morning in the collapse of a cornice, at around 8,750 meters above sea level, coming down from the summit of Everest.

On Monday, Romanian mountaineer Gabriel Viorel Tabara was found dead in his tent on Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world. Last week, two Mongolian climbers who went missing after reaching the summit of Everest were found dead. Previously, a Frenchman and a Nepalese had died on Makalu, the fifth highest peak in the world.

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About 500 foreign and Nepalese climbers have reached the summit of Everest since April, when the climbing season begins, which lasts until early June.

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The World with AFP

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