Dawa Yangzum Sherpa has become the first Nepali woman to climb Makalu, the fifth highest mountain. The 27-year-old from Dolakha’s Rolwaling Valley reached the summit on May 29.

“I climbed from the Advanced Base Camp (5,600m) to the summit (8,463m) in 21 hours, reaching the summit at 6:30 a.m.,” Sherpa, the country’s first female international mountain guide, said after her climb.

Sherpa reached the summit with Mingma Dorchi Sherpa and Furba Kusang Sherpa as part of a climb with Pioneer Adventure Makalu Expedition. She had recently bailed on plans to climb on Everest after seeing the large crowds. “As we scanned the long and slow-moving crowd snaking up the single rope line to the summit of Everest in front of us, we couldn’t figure out how long the delay was and it was simply too risky to expose our clients to the death zone for too long.”

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We decided to abandon the summit bid of Everest although we were within 1,300 vertical feet from the summit. With our Sherpa team comprised of elite climbing group from Phortse village, only three hours of climb remained to reach the summit, under normal conditions. However, what we witnessed then was not normal conditions. As we scanned the long and slow moving crowd snaking up the single rope line to the summit of Everest in front of us, we couldn’t figure out how long the delay was and it was simply too risky to expose our clients to the death zone for too long. I instead headed towards Mt. Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world. Without any crowd to overcome, I was able to climb from Advanced Base Camp (5,600m or 18,370 feet) to the summit (8,485m or 27,825 feet) in 21 hours. When I reached the summit of Mt. Makalu at 6:30 am, there was just me, and two other climbers. #khumbuclimbingcenter #neverstopexploring #thenorthface #Makalu 📸 @mingma2173

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She is only one of two female IFMGA mountain guides in Asia and her climbs include K2, Everest and the first ascents of two peaks in Nepal. In 2011, she made the first ascent of Cheki Go and in 2017 the first ascent of Langdung.

Dawa Yangzum Sherpa

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