This week a group of Nepalese women, who call themselves the Seven Summits Women are receiving international acclaim for being rockstar mountaineers. Women between the ages of 21 and 32 have joined forces to change the perception in Nepal of women in mountaineering. They are on an adventure and on a mission to do just that by climbing the highest peak on each of the seven continents. They are hoping to attract more women to the realm of climbing by visiting schools as a group and explaining their mission, which includes education, empowerment and environment. The team have taken out loans, used up their savings and looked for sponsors in order to make this happen. All in the name of women empowerment through adventure in the great outdoors. Keep up the amazing work ladies! I can’t imagine how many girls you inspire everyday!
Earlier this month, Chhurim, a Nepalese woman, became a Guinness World Record holder by becoming the first woman to scale Mt. Everest twice in same climbing season. In fact the 2 trips were only a week apart. 21 women have reached the peak of Mt. Everest, but only Chhurim has been able to reach it twice in one season. In the article, she addresses that it is rare for women to accomplish physical feats such as this because “they are considered not as strong as men and face many problems like finding toilets,” which shows how much impact all of these women could have if they showed the world that they can hold their own at something most people in the world would never attempt to do.
Here in Crested Butte, a small but significant portion of our community is Nepalese. I have worked with Sonam and Namkha in the restaurant that I worked in for years until just recently. I managed to learn a few basic greetings in both the Nepalese and Sherpa languages, such as “how are you? > Kasto Cha?” or “thank you > Dhanybhad” “good night > subha ratri” They were often the lights of the restaurant. You never heard them complaining. You never saw them get angry. but you did always see them smiling. I have an intense passion for travel and learning about different cultures, so I can’t imagine how much I probably annoyed them (although you’d never notice it) by asking questions about their lives in Nepal. Most of the Nepalese in CB are Sherpa, and have made a huge mark in town with their out-of-this-world food at both the Sherpa Cafe and Momo. Many were guides back in Nepal, some of them having double digits worth of Everest climbs. Their stories fascinate me. You walk into any bar here and hear the same story a million times of what somebody “hucked” that day or how many ski days they have put in this winter. But if those lovers of bragging rights sat down just once to hear what their busser at dinner that night did in a day back in Nepal, they would quickly be humbled. It is a culture that I had never encountered before moving here, and one of the many things I love so much about our community.