Legendary Himalayan climbing guide Lakpa Rita Sherpa is set to become the first Sherpa to climb all of the Seven Summits when he flies to Tanzania next week and begins his ascent on Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa.
For Lakpa, this has been a project that has taken awhile to come to fruition. Unlike most of the climbers who complete the Seven Summits, he actually started with Everest, where most finish. Lakpa first topped out on that mountain back in 1990, and then went on to do it eleven more times as a mountain guide for Alpine Ascents. A decade later he would have the opportunity to climb his next peak in the series, reaching the summit of Denali in June of 2000, and then returning to the summit once again just 15 days later.
Aconcagua was next on the list, with his first successful summit coming in December of 2001. He would go on to climb that mountain 22 times, before setting off to Antarctica to take on Mt. Vinson in 2004, where he successfully led two teams to the summit of the tallest peak in Antarctica. In 2008, he knocked off Elbrus in Russia, then went to Australia to stroll up Kosciuszko.
That leaves him with just Kilimanjaro to finish off the traditional Seven Summits, and soon I’m sure he’ll add that one to his resume. Kili is a challenging hike into altitude for most of it’s visitors, but for Lakpa, it’s likely to be a leisurely trek considering his experience in the mountains that also includes three successful summits of Cho Oyu.
You can read more about Lakpa’s Kilimanjaro climb by clicking here, and then check back regularly during the six day climb for photos and thoughts on the mountain. Also, be sure to check out Sherpa Adventure Gear, Lakpa’s gear company. Really great stuff.
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