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Brrr... Naked man on top

Saturday, 27 May 2006 - 3:17am IST | Agency: IANS
Sherpa sheds clothes on Mount Everest, all for a record

Sherpa sheds clothes on Mount Everest, all for a record

 

KATHMANDU: A Nepali Sherpa took off his clothes on the summit of Mt Everest and stood in the buff for three minutes on Wednesday morning. He is the first climber to accomplish the feat.

 

Several climbers suffer from severe frostbite even after remaining fully clothed, but the freezing temperatures had no effect on Lakpa Tharke Sherpa.

 

“It is an extraordinary feat that proves how hardy Sherpas are,” said Ishwori Poudel, managing director of Himalayan Guides Trek and Expeditions, the agency employing Lakpa. “People are running out of ideas for new records. Maybe that led Lakpa to do what he did.”

 

After reaching the 8,848m-high peak at 7:05 am on Wednesday, the 25-year-old took off his clothes at a temperature of -40ºC. He remained naked for three minutes and was photographed.

 

While the feat may earn a place in the Guinness Book and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, it has shocked some among the mountaineering community, especially Buddhist climbers, who regard the mountain as sacred.

 

The Sherpa community, which comprises Buddhists of Tibetan origin, call Mt Everest “Chomulungma”, meaning mother goddess, and revere it as a holy mountain.

 

“I was shocked to hear that a Sherpa stood nude atop the holy mountain for the sake of creating a record,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, which is entrusted with promoting mountain tourism and mountaineering in Nepal. “The Mother Goddess is holy to us and the deed is tantamount to defiling her.”

 

Mountain taboos are important. In 1996, the worst year for climbers, the Sherpa high-altitude guides with one of the commercial expeditions that suffered casualties blamed the deaths on a Western woman climber. She had broken the mountain taboo by having sex in one of the camps.




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