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  Mt. Everest 2004: George Dijmarescu and Lakpa Sherpa


The Connecticut Everest Expedition 2004

Mr and Mrs Sir Edmund Hillary with Lakpa Sherpa and her 15 year old sister who summited Everest last year...

In March 2004, five veteran mountaineers will depart their homes in the Constitution State en route to Tibet, where they will make up the first all-Connecticut team to attempt to climb Mount Everest. Originally conceived by the husband and wife team, both Everest veterans George Dijmarescu and Lakpa Sherpa, the five-person team reflects the state’s diverse population and adventurous history.

This year George, a Romanian defector, and Lakpa, who grew up in the shadow of Everest, hope to make history by becoming the first team to summit Mount Everest and K2 in the same climbing season. The Connecticut Everest Expedition will make up the first half of that quest.

For most survivors of communist oppression and third-world poverty, just getting to America is enough adventure and accomplishment to fill a lifetime. For most mountaineers, reaching the summit of Mount Everest once fulfills the dream of a lifetime.

But for Dijmarescu and Lakpa, reaching the top of the world eight times hasn’t been enough.

Dijmarescu swam the Danube River, jumped from a moving train and made his way alone through the Alps to escape the brutality of communism and make his way to Hartford, CT in the USA. On a whim and with no mountaineering experience or equipment, Dijmarescu attempted a mid-winter climb of New Hampshire's Mount Washington. Four years later – in 1999 – he reached the summit of Mt. Everest. He has summited the mountain every year since then.

Lakpa grew up below Makalu, the fifth tallest mountain in world. In 2000, as a member of an all-female Sherpa expedition, she became the first Nepali woman to climb Mount Everest. She met Dijmarescu at a party commemorating their ascents. A year later they married and she joined him in Hartford.

Last May George and Lakpa returned to Mt. Everest together. Lhakpa reached the summit for the third time – more times than any other woman, and was joined on the climb by her brother, two cousins and her sister, who, at 15-years-old, became the youngest person to climb the mountain. With relatives now working on high altitude climbs in Nepal, Tibet and Pakistan, Sherpa and Dijmarescu have become the heart of one of the most accomplished families of high-altitude mountaineers in the world.

The Connecticut Everest Team

Joining George Dijmarescu and Lakpa Sherpa are five other Himalayan veterans from Connecticut.

  • Anne Parmenter, originally from Britain, moved to the United States to pursue a career coaching women’s sports. Currently the coach of Trinity College field hockey team in Hartford, she was previously the field hockey and lacrosse coach at Connecticut College, During her summers off from collegiate coaching, she has worked as a mountain guide in the United States, South America and Nepal. As a guide she has reached the summit of Ama Dablam, 22,494 feet, in Nepal; Denali, 20,320 feet in Alaska; and Aconcogua, 22,834, in Argentina.
  • Chuck Boyd, one of Connecticut’s most accomplished climbers and guides, was part of the North Face sponsored expedition that made the first ascent of Shipton Spire in Pakistan. Chuck, along with Mark Richey, current president of the American Alpine Club, and Neil Pothier, made the first ascent of the East face of Cayash in Peru’s Corillera Blanca. He has also worked as a ski mountaineering guide in the Alps, ski patroller, and climbed throughout Europe, North America, South America and Africa. He operates a guiding service out of Suffield, CT, and is a board member of the Ragged Mountain Foundation, a non-profit promoting access and stewardship of Connecticut’s mountains.
  • Michael Kodas, a climber and photographer, has climbed throughout the United States, New Zealand and Spain. The Hartford resident reached the summit of Nepal’s Ama Dablam, 22,494 feet, in December of 1999. He has also climbed the big walls of El Capitan, in Yosemite National Park; completed the first-ever circumnavigation of Long Island Sound by sea kayak with nature writer Steve Grant; completed a long distance hike of the Appalachian Trail; and recreation of the events of a cargo schooner on which 53 captive Africans rebelled in 1838 known as the Amistad. Kodas was also lead author of Volume 5,  Exploring the Appalachian Trail.
  • Bill Driggs has reached the summit of Aconcogua in Argentinca, rock and ice climbed throughout New England and has completed three Iron Man Triathalons.
  • Dave Watson is a climbing guide for Eastern Mountain Sports and a ski patroller at Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont. He has climbed throughout the United State and recently completed an expedition to the Ruth Gorge in Alaska.

Everest the Educator

Since his first climb of Everest, Dijmarescu has kept a close relationship with Timothy Edwards Middle School in South Windsor, CT. Each year he carries items from the school to the summit. He has called students from advanced base camp and teachers at the school have created a curriculum in the context of his adventures

This year’s expedition will combine all of the team’s talents to use Everest as a teaching tool. Through the Newspapers in Education program, the climbers plan to produce curriculum for middle school students across Connecticut. In addition, the climbers plan to enrich students in Nepal as well as the United States by bringing them together through the Internet.

The team will leave the U.S. for Nepal on March 28th. They will depart Kathmandu for Tibet on April 5th and hope to reach the summit of Mount Everest by late May from the North Col using the same route attempted by George Mallory 80 years ago.

To offer support or assistance for Gheorghe and Lakpa’s historic climb, please contact us at

Lakpa Sherpa is now the only woman to have climbed Mt. Everest three times. In 2004 she will attempt Everest again trying for her 4th summit. She will go with her husband George Dijmarescu who will go for his 6th Summit of Mt Everest in 6 years! George and Lakpa are sponsored for 2004 in part by Sabia & Hartley, LLC of Hartford CT

Dispatches

 

 

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