7 Summits Mission
In May 2008, a team of young Nepali women became the most successful women’s expedition to ever summit Mt Everest. Against all kinds of socio-economic odds, this emerging team succeeded in doing what no one thought possible.
With the first (and arguably most challenging) summit behind us, in our quest to do something that would be meaningful and helpful not just in Nepal but globally, an idea took shape: We would climb, as a team, seven of the highest peaks on seven continent.
Education, empowerment and environment are three keys we believe in. With education we mean real learning, empowerment means ability to stand for oneself in every way and we understand environment as not just the nature around us, it’s who we are.
The team members come from humble backgrounds. Individual stories of our challenge, struggle and success is something that binds us close. To find out about the team member click The Team above.
The journey started with Mt Kosciuszko/Tar Gan Gil in Australia in June 2010. We made it to the summit of Australia on July 2010 and the following month climbed Mt Elbrus, the tallest in Europe. After a long wait, finally on 5th of March, 2013, we scaled Mt Kilimajaro, rooftop of Africa.
The team successfully started the mission from Australia in June-July 2010. We left for Australia on 28th June 2010 and climbed the tallest mountain in Australia, Mt Kosciuszko/Targangil on 7th July 2010. Nepal Mountaineering Association was the major supporter for this leg of the mission. The trip was also supported by Government of Nepal, The North Face, Nepal Airlines, Veg Climate Alliance, The Crossing Land Education Trust, Outdoor Education Group, Supreme Master TV, ICIMOD, Non-Residential Nepalis and Nepal Tourism Board.
7th July, 2010 was a perfect weather day with clear blue sky. Alpine Scientist Ken Green from the national park along with photographer Vonna Keller, cameraperson Nigel Mueke and other supporters joined the climb. Coordinator Shailee Basnet was interviewed by ABC Southeast radio on the way up. We took a scenic route up the mountain and spent about 45 minutes on the summit.
On 13th July the team presented a statue of Lord Buddha originally handed by the Prime Minister of Nepal Mr Madhav Kumar Nepal to Mr David Holly, Assistant Secretary, South and Central Asia Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The team made a presentation emphasizing the friendly relations between Nepal and Australia and urging the Australian government to consider the impact of climate change in the Himalayas.
On 14th July EW7S team was hosted at Brigitte Muir’s residence in Natimuk, Victoria. She is the first Australian woman to climb Mt Everest and first Australian to climb all seven summits. The team hiked up Mt Arapiles with her next day and met another seven summiteer Steve Bell later in the day. The team got wonderful opportunity to learn from the experiences of the two climbers. Brigitte Muir, David Spratt, co-author of Climate Code Red were the featured speakers at an event organized in Melbourne.
The team made 18 presentations at various avenues including schools, communities, fundraising dinner and other interactions. Audiences were mesmerized to see pictures of the Himalayan giants and inspired by the team’s story.
Cameraperson from Supreme Master TV filmed the team right from arrival in Australia till departure. EW7SEA members were also interviewed by ABC Southeast Radio, SBS Radio, Melbourne Chautari, The Herald Sun and were featured in Narooma News, Monaro Post including various online posts. The team also received wide media coverage in Nepal before and after the climb.
Our hosts were amazing and we kept meeting wonderful Australians along the way. After the trip we like to tell everyone ‘if you want to make friends visit Australia’. Kosciuszko was very important for us because this was a beginning.
Many people told us that this must have been a walk in the park for us. We like to borrow Neil Armstrong’s words and say, ‘It was not a big climb but a giant leap for a team of young women all the way from Nepal to make this happen.’ Thanks to our supporters Australia was a great start!
Everest Women team successfully climbed Mt Elbrus, the tallest mountain in the European continent on August 29th 2010 at 12:30 pm. The team left for Russia on 24th August 2010. Nepal Government, The North Face and Non-Residential Nepalis financially supported the climb in Russia. Nepali Embassy in Russia hosted the team during our stay in Moscow.
We reached Moscow on 24th August and then flew to Mineralny Vody and reached the village of Cheget on 25th August. On 26th August, we went for acclimatization trip to the Ice Camp above village of Treskol, the route used by climbers till about 50 years ago. 7 Summits Club in Russia was the implementing agency. Alexandar Abramov, owner of the club, was the leader whereas Ludmila, club’s director was the assistant leader. Ludmila is the first and only Russian woman to climb all the seven summits. We were really inspired by her beauty, strength and modesty. The couple were assisted by their manager Tanya. Together they made a great team.
On 27th August, the team headed towards the mountain, took shelter at the barrel and went for acclimatization trip towards Pasthukov Rocks. 28th August was the rest day. The team visited a second world war memorial museum in the Elbrus region. We learnt from the museum’s founder that Elbrus region was a battlefield during the war and also learnt that Tenzing Norgay Sherpa was in the region in the 1960s to climb Elbrus. But bad weather came in his way. Presence of all-women team was a surprise to many guides in the region and we were thus visited and asked many questions about our country and mission by various climbers.
Early morning on 29th August, the team set out at 4:00 am aiming for the summit. The team climbed up the Pastukov Rocks, traversed across the saddle on the classic route and all nine members made it to the summit at 12:30 pm. The weather was very clear with hardly any wind or snow. However, the summit was windy.
On our descent, we learnt that summer was getting longer in the Elbrus region. As a result, there were more streams originating from the mountain than in the past, as observed by our guides.
The team spent five days in Moscow after the climb. Nepalis in Moscow took the team for sight-seeing. We had interaction with Nari Nikunja in Russia over lunch. Nari Nikunja is led under the presidency of Dr Samata Prasad. Nepalese Students Association PFUR in Moscow organized an interaction program on 4th September where His Excellency Surya Kiran Gurung was the chief guest and other distinguished guests including Mr Jiba Lamichhane, Dr Samata Prasad were present. The team made a presentation about its mission and received great response.
We received warm hospitality from both the Russian friends in the 7 Summits Club and from Nepalis in Russia. The team was provided special support by the Nepali Embassy in Moscow and His Excellency ambassador and his family. Most importantly, all members of the team were successful in climbing Mt Elbrus, the third mountain in our quest of climbing the tallest mountain in each continent and spread the message of the mission.