Nepalese woman sets world record by summitting Mount Everest twice in season

BINAJ GURUBACHARYA
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sherpa Chhurim

Chhurim, a sherpa, holds a Guinness World Record certificate presented to her for being the first woman to summit Mount Everest twice in one climbing season — on May 12, 2012 and May 19, 2012 — in Kathmandu, Nepal on Feb. 25, 2013. Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepalese mountaineer Chhurim entered the record book by scaling Mount Everest twice in the same climbing season. In fact, she did so a week apart.

Guinness World Records said she is the first woman to climb the world’s highest mountain twice in the same season — the brief window of good weather each year that allows climbers to reach the summit.

Nepal’s Tourism Minister Posta Bahadur Bogati handed over the Guinness World Records certificate issued to 29-year-old Chhurim on Monday.

She scaled the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit on May 12, 2012, descended to the base camp for a couple of days’ rest and then scaled the peak again a week later on May 19.

Chhurim, who uses only one name like most Sherpas, said she is not ready to quit.

“Everest is the first of the highest mountains that I have climbed, but I will continue mountaineering and hope to scale more peaks,” she said.

Chhurim said there are not many women mountaineers and only a few of them have records.

“The male mountaineers have set many records but women have fallen behind. It can be difficult for women because they are considered not as strong as men and face many problems like finding toilets,” she said.

The Nepal Mountaineering Association said Everest has been climbed by nearly 4,000 people since New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal did so in 1953. Women are a small number of them.

The extremely harsh weather conditions that batter the highest Himalayan peaks limit the climbing season to just a few weeks every year. Spring is the most popular season on Everest when hundreds of mountaineers attempt every year. The climbers generally reach the mountain in March or April, acclimatize to the higher elevation and low oxygen and train for climbing the snowy trail to the peak. The weather usually improves for a few days in May when they line up to the summit.

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