The Spring Himalayan Season is only days from getting underway, and already things are starting to get interesting. As is usual, Everest will be at the center of some major expeditions and big ambitions, but none bigger than that of Pemba Dorjee Sherpa, who will attempt to summit Everest and Lhotse within 24 hours of one another.
According to this story at MyRepublica.com, Pemba will set out from Kathmandu on April 1st and begin the trek to Everest Base Camp. From there, he’ll undergo the typical acclimatization process, and once he is ready, he’ll attempt his Himalayan double header. The plan is to go to the summit of Everest, located at 8848 meters (29,029 feet) first, then return to Camp 4 for a brief rest, before taking on Lhotse, which is 8516 meters (27,940 feet) in height. If successful, he will become the first climber to knock off two 8000-meter peaks in a 24 hour period.
For the uninitiated, Everest and Lhotse share most of the same route, but when climbers reach Camp 4, located at about 26,000 feet, the route diverges. Everest climbers on the Nepali side of the mountain take a left and continue on up to that summit, while the much smaller number of climbers take a right and continue on to the top of Lhotse, which is the fourth highest mountain in the world behind Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga.
While this climb will be a significant challenge for Pemba, he has a good idea of what to expect. Not only has he climbed Everest ten times in the past, he has set a speed record for doing so. Back in 2004, he made the climb in just eight hours and ten minutes. If anyone can pull this off, it’ll be him.
Meanwhile, the same article above says two other Sherpas, Mingma Gyalzen and Phurba Tenzing, hope to set a completely different record by staying on the summit of Everest for 24-hours straight. They intend to stay at that altitude without the use of supplemental oxygen as well.
Finally, Nawang Phuchi Sherpa hopes to become the first woman to climb Everest twice in a single season, which is a pretty impressive feat as well.
Hold on tight folks. The fun really gets going in April. Can’t wait!
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