Nepal’s Everest heroines to break new ground in mountaineering

March 8th, 2009 - 4:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, March 8 (IANS) Last year, they created history by becoming the first inclusive, all-women’s team from Nepal to summit Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world.
On Sunday, celebrated as the 99th International Women’s Day, the 10 Nepali climbing eves have broken new ground by announcing they would establish a national mountaineering school that would help other aspiring climbers in the country to aim at the Everest and other high Himalayan summits.

Earlier this week, the 10 women formed Global Inclusive Adventure, an organisation that will start a three-year adventure to summit the remaining seven highest peaks in seven continents.

On Sunday, the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN), the umbrella organisation of around 700 trekking and mountaineering operators in the country, handed over a cheque of NRS 200,000 to the group.

As Hisila Yami, minister for tourism and civil aviation, handed over the cheque, the group said they would use it as seed money to establish a National Mountaineering School.

The women’s group will now head for Langtang in northern Nepal to identify a possible site for the proposed school. The other optional sites are Rolwaling Valley and the Khumbu, Annapurna and Kanchanjunga regions.

“The remarkable feat of the young mountaineers, who summited Mt Everest last year, reflect the struggle and courage of other Nepali women during the decade-long Maoist People’s War,” TAAN said in a press statement.

“We hope the growing interest shown by women in the tourism sector will help address the shortage of manpower and infrastructure at a time Nepal is aiming to double the number of visitors by celebrating the year 2011 as Nepal Tourism Year.”

As part of the drive to establish Nepal as a tourism destination worldwide, the women’s group - in which the youngest is 18 and the oldest 31 - begins its long, hard adventure from August to climb the other highest peaks in the world, starting from Mt Elbrus in Russia and ending with Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro.

The other peaks are Mount Aconcagua in South America, Mount McKinley in North America, Mount Vinson Massif in Antarctica, Mount Kosciusko in Australia and Mount Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia.

The climbing group comprises Usha Bist, Sushmita Maskey, Maya Gurung, Pema Diki Sherpa, Chunu Shrestha, Shailee Basnet, Ngawang Phuti Sherpa, Nim Doma Sherpa, Pujan Acharya and Asha Kumari Singh.

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