Badass Whole Foods dishwasher heads toward her 9th Everest climb

Lhakpa Sherpa holds her certificates from the Guinness Book Of World Records
Lhakpa Sherpa holds her certificates from the Guinness Book Of World Records
Screenshot: WTNH News8

Honestly, if I ever climbed Mount Everest (the biggest “if” in the world), I would never shut up about it. I would say as I met people for the first time, “Nice to meet you, I climbed Mount Everest.” Which makes me the polar opposite of Connecticut resident Lhakpa Sherpa, a single mom of two who is about to head toward her ninth time up the mountain.


Sherpa lives a life that be all accounts could be considered unassuming, especially for a Guinness Book Of World Records holder: She’s a dishwasher at the local Whole Foods, walks her daughters to school every day, then walks to work because she doesn’t drive. The Columbus Dispatch describes that as the Nepal native grew up, “Sherpa girls were discouraged from climbing, but she was a tomboy and would not be deterred from helping the men in her family, serving as a porter to take gear to Everest base camps.” In 2000, she joined a group of women who were headed up Everest, and now she holds the world’s record for the Everest summits by a woman.

Dan Furtado, the manager who hired her at Whole Foods, told The Dispatch: “You would never know she hiked Everest unless you knew her and talked to her about it. She’s the most humble person I know, and her work ethic is astounding.” For her part, Sherpa says simply, “I climb for all women.”

There’s a lesson in humility here that I for one, will be taking to heart.

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.


I’d be happier for her if trips to the top of Everest weren’t turning it into a junkyard of spent air bottles & frozen corpses.