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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
Famous female Nepal climber dead
Pemba Doma Sherpa
Ms Sherpa was a respected climber and charity worker (Photo courtesy of Climb High Himalaya)
One of Nepal's most famous female mountaineers has died in a climbing accident in the Himalayas.

Pemba Doma Sherpa fell at about 8,000m while descending Lhotse south of Mount Everest, officials at the trekking firm where she was a director told the BBC.

A spokeswoman for Climb High Himalaya said friends and family were shocked.

Two Sherpas died with Ms Sherpa on Lhotse, the world's fourth highest peak. She was Nepal's first woman to climb Mount Everest by its north face.

Enormous risk

Two years after that 2000 climb, she again conquered the world's tallest peak from its south side.

The 32-year-old was believed to be one of only six women who had scaled the mountain twice, most recently as part of the 2002 Nepalese women's expedition.

Ms Sherpa's mother died when she was two. She was brought up by her grandparents and went to one of the schools set up in Nepal by Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Everest.

Ms Pemba went on to become fluent in nine languages, Climb High Himalaya's website says.

She spent much of her time abroad fund-raising for her non-profit organisation, Save the Himalayan Kingdom, which educates children in Nepal regardless of their caste.

A statement by the Nepal Mountaineering Association said that the tragedy highlighted the enormous risk that high-altitude Sherpa guides face.

It said they had to cross dangerous areas several times for the sake of clients, while allowing them to descend first during bad weather.




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