Nepali women summit Mt K2

KATHMANDU: Three Nepali female climbers set a world record by scaling Mt K2 (8,611m) this afternoon, the expedition organisers said.

According to Himalayan Women Welfare Society, experienced mountaineers Maya Sherpa, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa and Dawa Yangzum Sherpa conquered Mt K2, also known as ‘mountain of mountains’ at 3:35pm local time.

“We are so overwhelmed with joy that we do not have words to express our happiness,” a statement by the first Nepali Women K2 Expedition – 2014 said. “It is a proud moment for all Nepali women,” it said.

Maya, team leader of the expedition, has 11 years of experience in mountaineering and has already scaled Mt Everest twice. Pasang Lhamu and Dawa Yangzum are also experienced climbers.

The team, with the motto ‘women climbing for climate change’ climbed K2 in the Himalayan Karakoram ranges of Pakistan. Their aim was to raise awareness about global warming around the world, said Nima Nuru Sherpa, adviser of the expedition. “We became the first Nepali female expedition team to scale the mountain carrying our national flag. Certainly, it is a very proud feeling.”

The expedition was organised by Himalayan Women Welfare Society in coordination with Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Environment, and Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal Mountaineering Association and Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal, the private sector and other development agencies.

The Ministry of Environment bid farewell to female climbers on May 21 at a function in the capital. The estimated cost of the expedition was around eight million rupees. The expedition was sponsored by ICIMOD, Nepal Mountaineering Association, Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal and many other tourism-related organisations.

According to mountaineering database, K2 is known as the ‘Cruel Mountain’ due to the extreme difficulty of ascent and the second-highest fatality rate among the eight thousanders. Also, one out of every four persons attempting to scale the summit has died.

According to the Guinness World Records, Wanda Rutkiewicz (Poland) had climbed K2 on 23 June, 1986, becoming the first woman to climb the mountain.

Summit objectives

• To climb Mt K2 to mark the 60th anniversary of its first ascent

• Promote mountain tourism in Nepal and women’s participation in it

• Raise awareness among major stakeholders working on climate change in Nepal about the impacts of global climate change on the Himalayas

• Demonstrate the strength of women and their potential to bring about positive change

Source: The Himalayan Times
Date: 26 July, 2014

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