Mount Everest’s beauty owes much to the stark and fickle nature of its superiority. Some would say no rock is superior to humanity.
Since an avalanche buried 16 sherpa guides at Mount Everest last month, no one has chosen to climb this rock, the world’s tallest mountain. Usually the climbing season ends in late May, since after then the warmer temperatures make the path too dangerous.
So, just before the season was over, a few notable women decided to make the history books.
Wang Jing, a 41-year-old Chinese climber, finished her summit of Everest on Friday from Nepal, bypassing the spot where the sherpas died last month by using a helicopter to transport her crew and gear over the unstable area where the avalanche occurred. On Sunday, while the guest of honor in Namche, Nepal, Wang Jing gave $30,000 to the town’s hospital.
According to National Geographic‘s Chip Brown, who spoke with the climber just after the ceremony, “Locals wrapped her in so many khatas — ceremonial scarves — it looked like she had a curtain around her neck.”
She’d already climbed Everest twice before and this time around is going for something altogether more ambitious than merely climbing one mountain. It’s just a coincidence that it’s only been a month since the avalanche.
“I thought climbing all seven summits in six months would be easy to do,” she said, “as I had a lot of experience climbing 26,000-foot peaks nine times. I thought all the other peaks on other continents would be easy in comparison, but it’s not so easy now.”
The founder of China’s widely used Toread outdoor clothing firm, Wang is now in Denali to climb another mountain before her half-year of climbing expires.
In New Delhi, India, a nearly 14-year-old just became the youngest female to climb Everest, according to New Delhi TV. A farm girl identified by her first name, Poorna, from Andhra Pradesh, just returned from her group climb of Everest on Sunday.
In all, about 4,000 people have climbed Everest since the first ascent was made in 1953 by sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary of New Zealand.
Poorna and another teen, a boy named Anand, participated last November in the youngest climbing group to climb Mount Renock. At the time, she told NDTV, “I will climb Mount Everest and after I am back, I am going to be an IPS officer.”
[Image courtesy of Discovery Channel]