“I feel like Everest is my education and that my 10th summit would be like my graduation,” Lhakpa Sherpa, the female world record-holder for Everest summits, said while preparing. Lhakpa, who once summitted eight months after giving birth, then again while two months pregnant, 'graduated' on 12 May 2022 - exceeding the summits of the former climbing partner and spouse who had subjected her to violence and poverty. She raised their three children nearly on her own, sometimes living in shelters and cleaning houses to pay rent and buy food.  Her daughter Shiny accompanied her on Everest this time. For Lhakpa, who comes from a family of accomplished Sherpas, each attempt is a significant physical and financial risk - she uses a 50-year-old oxygen mask, has no regular sponsors, trainers or dietitians, and works at a grocery store. But her connection to Everest remains profound, and she thanked the mountain when she summitted this spring.

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