May 30, 2006 | Post Archive
The Guinness Book of World Records is a testimony to the world's infatuation with stardom. Apparently, not even typically spiritual Nepali mountain men are untouched by its allure. Lakpa Tharke Sherpa, a 25-year-old mountain guide, made it to Mount Everest's summit last week with the intent to bare all.
After years of summiting the lofty peak, climbers are running out of options to set records. But standing nude atop the world's tallest mountain is one that hadn't yet been attempted. Hannah Harris's article, How Mount Everest Works gives a good explanation of why:
I don't know about you, but the last thing I'd want to do in a sudden gale of icy wind is try to put clothes on. "All right guys, not funny. Who took my pants?"
Lakpa was lucky enough to last a full three minutes with no apparent physical side effects just long enough for his buddies to snap some photos for the famed record book. But Lakpa has some "'splaining" to do when he gets home. The Buddhist Sherpas consider Mount Everest, or Chomulungma -- Goddess Mother of Earth -- to be sacred. In the eyes of the Sherpa community, Lakpa has desecrated the holy mountain by going au naturale for the sake of personal fame. Talk about a double 'no-no'. And you thought this was a bad idea.