After climbing the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, a group of Nepalese ladies became the first all-women team to accomplish such a feat. The women returned home today, and were welcomed at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu.
The seven members of the team are Nimdoma Sherpa, Pujan Acharya, Maya Gurung, Asha Singh, Chunu Shrestha, Pema Dikki and Shailee Basnet. Their expedition began in 2008 when they had successfully climbed Mount Everest, and ended by climbing Mount Vinson in Antarctica. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding and the fact that each woman uses their own savings in order to pay for the trips, only four of the seven team members were able to make the climb in Antarctica. However, this doesn’t make their achievement any less impressive.
Their notable climbing resume includes Mount Everest in Asia, Mount Kosciuszko/Targangil in Australia, Mount Elbrus in Europe, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Aconcagua in South America, Mount McKinley in North America, and lastly Mount Vinson in Antarctica. These women have succeeded at something people could only dream of.
Having 14 of the highest mountains in the world, Nepal is known for having people tackle the steep slopes. With a total of over 4,000 people who have scaled Mount Everest, it is surprising that only approximately two dozen were women. These women wanted to change the view that climbing is only for men, and that only men are able to undertake it.
It is very rare that women take on this challenge, or even succeed at it. Many of the women who are interested in the challenge are confined to their homes, while their spouses are the ones to make the climb. It was only in 1993 that Pasang Lhamu broke limits. She was the first woman who endeavored to climb Mount Everest and hadn’t given up trying. Lhamu, unfortunately, died on the treacherous journey back down the mountain, but her journey was never forgotten.
Due to its rarity, this makes the team’s accomplishment all the more extraordinary because it is breaking limitations. So, what’s next for these brave women? Will they continue to climb, or does this triumph bring their journey to an end? Only time will tell.