It involves clambering over fathomless crevasses, battling temps that can dip to –40°F, winds that can rage upwards of 100 m.p.h., breathing oxygen-deprived air at stratospheric heights — and this woman did it twice in the space of seven days, clinching a new world record.
According to the Associated Press, Chhurim, a 29-year-old Nepalese Sherpa (who like many Sherpas has just one name), scaled Mount Everest not once, but twice inside of a week, reaching the 29,035-ft. summit of the tallest mountain in the world first on May 12, 2012, then again seven days later on May 19. This week Nepal’s Tourism Minister Posta Bahadur Bogati presented Chhurim with a certificate from the Guinness World Records celebrating her feat.
“I am very happy for this recognition,” said Chhurim, as reported by Agence France-Presse. “I was determined that the record should be held by a Nepalese woman and I’m proud to be one.”
The first man to reach Everest’s summit twice was Sherpa mountaineer Nawang Gombu — once in 1963 and again in 1965. The first woman to reach the summit was Junko Tabei of Japan in 1975. The first Nepalese woman to reach the summit was Pasang Lhamu Sherpa in 1993 (though she tragically died while descending). And Santosh Yadav of India was the first woman to climb Mount Everest twice within a year — in May 1992 and 1993.
Chhurim is the latest to secure a record among an extremely elite club of climbers: just over 3,000 people have summited Mount Everest since New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay first looked down at the clouds from the Himalayan mountain’s top in 1953.