Reaching Mount Everest’s summit even once is an achievement, but Anshu Jamsenpa has achieved this remarkable feat twice in five days. The Indian climber has set a new women’s record for a double ascent of the world’s highest peak in a single season.
Anshu, 37, who hails from Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh, returned from the first climb of the 8,848-metre (29,028-feet) peak on May 16 and went on to repeat the feat after a brief rest. According to her husband Tsering Wange, she began her second ascent on the morning of May 19, accompanied by Nepali climber Furi Sherpa, and scaled the peak at 8 am on May 21.
Anshu and Dalai Lama
The previous female record, as certified by Guinness World Records, was held by Nepali climber Chhurim Sherpa, who became the first woman to scale the peak twice in a season in 2012.
More than 120 climbers have made the summit this season, with the initial ascents delayed by high winds, fresh snowfall, and unusually cold temperatures.Last week Nepali climber Lhakpa Sherpa broke her own record for the maximum number of summits by a woman after scaling the peak for the eighth time.
However, there is another side to these achievements. There are concerns from environmentalists that the high number of summit permits issued by Nepal could have a dangerous impact on the ecosystem of the mountain as climbers target a brief window of favourable weather before the monsoon in June. Each year around 700 people attempt to climb Mt Everest, with personal achievement being the sole motivation. Everest is now polluted and overcrowded, and many have lost their lives not only to the brutality of nature but also to that of apathetic self-indulgence.
This year’s climbing season has already seen two tragic deaths, including well-known Swiss climber Ueli Steck who fell from a ridge during an acclimatisation climb.