Nepal: Former School Meals Girl Scales Mount Denali

At the age of 17, Nimdoma Sherpa became the first WFP school meals recipient to climb Mt. Everest. Now 23, she is just one mountain away from climbing the world's seven highest mountains in each of the continents.

KATHMANDU - On June 24, Nimdoma conquered Mt. Denali (Mt. McKinley), the highest peak in the North American continent – her sixth successful ascent in a bid to climb all the world's seven highest mountains in each of the continents. 

“Denali is a very difficult mountain to climb, with a lot of life-threatening risks if one makes a mistake. Physically it was very challenging. I am glad I was able to make it despite the bad weather conditions at that time,” said Nimdoma in an email from the USA.

“When I got to the summit I really felt that it was the constant encouragement and positivity of the team, despite all the problems, that motivated us to get here,” she said. 

“I feel so lucky that from a journey that started with the school meals of WFP, I have come a long way "kissing the ceilings of the world". I really hope WFP and just everyone makes it possible for every girl to scale the heights of their dreams,” she added.Mountain climbers holding WFP banner at the top of mt. everest

All Was Not Well

Out of seven members from her team, only four made it to the top of the 6,194 meter peak. Two teammates abandoned the climb because of health issues while Shailee Basnet, the team coordinator, pulled out to look after the two and manage the logistics for other team members.

While pushing for the summit, the team had to wait five days at Camp 14 (14,000 feet) due to adverse weather conditions. Even on the day they pushed for summit they faced icy wind and snowfall, according to Shailee.

“I was missing my three friends who could not join this climb and that made me even more determined to make it to the summit,” said Nimdoma.

On their return from the summit, the four remaining members of the team were stuck at camp 17 for two days as the weather turned worse. 

“I feel that no dream is too big. It is about patiently swimming across the obstacles,” Nimdoma said after returning from the mountain.

Born on the foothills of the Himalayas, Nimdoma’s journey from a simple village girl to pursue her dream of climbing the seven highest peaks of the seven continents is an inspiration for many young children across the world.

The all-female-climber team from Nepal has already conquered the highest peaks in Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa and South America. The team has been dedicating their climbs to raising awareness on education, women empowerment and environment conservation.

The team will go for their last climb - Mt. Vinson Massif in Antarctica - in December this year, which is set to mark the world’s first all-women team completing the Seven Summits Expedition.