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
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.
Connecticut Everest Team
Joining George Dijmarescu and
are five other Himalayan veterans from Connecticut.
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,
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
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.
Driggs has reached the summit of Aconcogua in Argentinca, rock and ice
climbed throughout New England and has completed three Iron Man Triathalons.
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.
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