Purnima Shrestha and Pasang Lhamu Sherpa became the first Nepali women to reach the summit of Dhaulagiri, the seventh highest mountain in the world on October 2, 2021.
On this day, the two women mountaineers created their own history in mountaineering and etched their names in the record books.
“You never know what happens when you’re up in the mountains. Your next step and breath can be your last. There are times I feel I will not come back. But, I always set a goal before I get up a mountain and the goal is to come back safe, said Shrestha.
Despite being a photojournalist by profession in 2017, she went to the Everest Base Camp to cover the Everest Marathon. It was at this time that she was lulled by the mountains she saw. Then, while talking to foreigners who had come to climb the mountain, she understood why they came to Nepal.
She then promptly decided to woo the gigantic mountains in the future.
Mission to climb all eight-thousanders
Now, she has committed herself and is determined to surmount all mountains above 8000 meters in the world in spite of prevailing challenges and risks during climbing these peaks. She had successfully climbed Mt Everest on May 19, 2018, soon after which she decided to set her feet on Ama Dablam on November 10, 2019.
For Shrestha, climbing mountains is tantamount to playing with a fire ember and slinging between death and life. At times she also questions herself why she is up there in the peaks. She thinks why should she take a larger amount of loans from banks and stake her life to risk in the mountains.
But something within her spirit unwittingly seems to goading her and motivating her to climb these mountains with great joy, fun, and adventurous spirit which most of the Sherpa climbers and guides have proven so far in the history of mountaineering.
She wants to climb one mountain every year. she summited the top of Annapurna on April 16 and Dhaulagiri most recently.
“I want to climb all 14 eight-thousanders. They appeal to me and call me,” she says. She has been applauded from all sectors for her valor to climb all 14 peaks. She will definitely become the lioness of the mountains in near future.
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