Lakpa Gelu (Nepali: ल्हाक्पा घेलु) (born June 23, 1967), often spelled Lhakpa, is a Nepalese Sherpa climber from Jubing - 1, KhariKhola, Solukhumbu, Nepal. He is known for holding a previous world record for the fastest climbing of Mount Everest (the world's tallest mountain at 8,848 meters, known to the Nepalese as "Sagarmatha") in only 10 hours 56 minutes and 46 seconds. Gelu's record-breaking trip was his tenth trip to the summit of the mountain.
Lhakpa Gelu was born around June 23, 1967  in the Solukhumbu of Nepal. The ethnic Sherpa community in Nepal does not record exact birth dates, though, so it is impossible to know his precise birth date.
Lhakpa Gelu comes from a family of climbers. His older brother died in 1991 while climbing Annapurna, and his youngest brother has also climbed Mount Everest. He is married to Fulli and has three children—Ang Dawa, Nima, and Tashi.
In December 2006, Lhakpa Gelu moved to Utah. Despite his mountaineering accomplishments, Lhakpa struggled financially, as Sherpas are paid far less than Western guides. In Utah, he had difficulty finding work as a mountain guide, so instead he had to work at a coffee house, installing signs, and delivering pizzas while searching for employment as an expedition guide.
Speed climb of Everest
Gelu started for the summit at 5:00 p.m. on May 25, 2003, and reached on the summit at 3:56:46 a.m. on May 26. He returned to Base Camp at 11:20 a.m. on the 26th. (It is also reported that upon reaching the top, Gelu hoisted the Nepalese flag on a 6-foot-tall (1.8 m) brass pole.) The total time of his climb from Base Camp to the summit and back to Base Camp was 18 hours 20 minutes.
Lakpa Gelu was the climbing Sardar of the 12-member "Jubiläums Expedition Mt. Everest 2003." He began his ascent of Everest from the Southeast Ridge under the leadership of Eckhard Schmitt, a 56-year-old mountaineer from Schaftlach, Germany.
Nearly one year later, on May 21, 2004, Pemba Dorjie surpassed Gelu's record, reaching the top in 8 hours and 10 minutes.
In 2007, Lhakpa climbed Everest to raise money for an elementary school in his hometown in Nepal and to increase public awareness of the contributions of the Sherpa people to Himalayan mountaineering.
Gelu owns a expedition/trekking company called Adventure Ascents, adventureascents.com. He guides on several peaks around the world with a focus on Himalayan expeditions and trekking.
- List of Mount Everest summiters by number of times to the summit
- List of Mount Everest records
- Lhakpa Sherpa (female Everest mountaineer)
- List of Mount Everest guides
He is also involved in a social work by donating a fund to a public in Solukhumbu.