First Nepali Women Expedition to K2 starts

nepal Islamabad: The First Nepali Women Expedition to the second highest mountain on earth–K2 started on Thursday June 19, 2014.

Three young women climbers from Nepal – Maya Sherpa,  Dawa Yangzum Sherpa and Pasang Lhamu Sherpa will scale mount K2  that has elevation of 8611m above sea level.

Carrying a strong message — ‘Women Climbing for Climate’ — the team is endeavouring to become the first all-women team from Nepal on the top of this Himalayan giant. The goal of the expedition is to raise awareness about climate change and sustainable development in the Himalayas.

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ICIMOD Nepal is supporting this expedition while simultaneously promoting the opportunity for women to demonstrate their strength. It is estimated that the expedition will take about 65 days from mid-June to the end of August 2014, starting from Kathmandu. Upon reaching their goal, the team will place ICIMOD’s banner on the summit. During the expedition, the team will also document and record material on mountain women and climate change for ICIMOD to use. Upon their return, the team will deliver a seminar at ICIMOD to share their findings and experiences.

The Climbers:

Maya Sherpa

Maya Sherpa started her climbing career as a national weight lifting competitor, a sport in which she reached the finals several times. After completing basic and advanced climbing courses organized by the Nepalese Mountaineering Association, Maya started working as a climbing guide. Maya has been involved in various international Himalayan expeditions including to Everest North and South, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Shishapangma, Baruntse, Pumori, Khan Tengri, Ama Dablam, and several trekking peaks. She was the first Nepalese women on many of these peaks. Maya has also climbed Mt Everest twice, in 2006 and 2007.

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Dawa Yangzum Sherpa

Dawa Sherpa is an ultra marathon runner, high-altitude long-distance runner, and mountain climber. In 2010, she completed the 350-kilometre Everest Sky Race and came second in the female division. She has also completed the gruelling 350-kilometre Annapurna Mandala Trail. Dawa was the first female to summit Everest from Rolwaling Beding. In 2011, Dawa was first runner up in the fifth National Climbing Competition and, in 2012, she won the first International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) National Open Lead Climbing Competition. She was also the first Nepali female to complete the Climbing Rescue Ranger’s course at Mt Rainier in the United States. Dawa climbed Yala Peak in 2009 and 2010, Ama Adablam in 2011, and Island Peak, Grand Peak, Grand Tetons, and Chiki Go in 2010.

Pasang Lhamu Sherpa

Pasang Sherpa started climbing in 2001 as a sports climber. After completing her mountaineering training in Nepal, Pasang summitted Mt Everest from the Tibet Autonomous Region. She has also climbed Yala Peak, Nangpai Gusung, Ama Dablam, Mt Putta Hiunculi, and other trekking peaks. Pasang has also undertaken mountaineering courses in France, where she climbed numerous peaks. Pasang was the first Nepali women to climb Nangpai Gosum (7,321 m). She is also the first Nepali female mountaineering instructor. Today, in addition to working as a mountaineering instructor in Nepal, Pasang guides and teaches mountaineering in Nepal and the United States.

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