It all started with the ‘First Inclusive Women Sagarmatha Expedition 2008 Spring’ which became the most successful Nepali women’s expedition to ever scale Mt Everest in May 2008. The expedition comprised of ten women who broke through socio-cultural barriers to prove their mettle in a patriarchic society. Seven members from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds came together during this expedition and went on to climb five highest peaks in the five continents. Their mission is to climb the highest mountain in each continent; 5 done, 2 to go.
Alan Arnette, climber and mountaineering writer congratulated the team on their successful ascent of Mount Aconcagua, the tallest peak in South America.
Nepali Seven Summits Women Team summited Aconcagua. Denali, Vinson remain. Well done Ladies. http://t.co/sDWktSmfXQ
— Alan Arnette (@alan_arnette) March 2, 2014
Last year, marking the occasion of International Women’s Day, the women climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa together with four African women, highlighting the significance of girl education. The Kilimanjaro climb was partly sponsored by The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
Jenna Cattermole, WFP Communications Officer in Tanzania, tweeted:
— Jenna Cattermole (@jennbcat) February 27, 2014
Members of the Seven Summits Women Team – Shailee Basnet, Pujan Acharya, Maya Gurung, Asha Kumari Singh, Nimdoma Sherpa, Pema Diki Sherpa and Chunu Shrestha come from diverse backgrounds, each with strong personal stories of struggle and inspiration.
The inclusiveness of the team is an example for all to emulate.
Kanak Mani Dixit, a veteran Nepali journalist tweeted:
Our politicians in forming cabinet could have learnt inclusiveness from seven sisters who just climbed Mt. Aconcagua http://t.co/SipjL26SEU
— Kanak Mani Dixit (@KanakManiDixit) February 26, 2014
The website dedicated to the summiteers details their source of inspiration, motivation and goal.
One ran away from home at 14 to escape a forced marriage. Another was educated, as she was deemed not to be beautiful enough to find a good husband. Hence we not only believe the message we carry but also incorporate school visits, collaboration with local women and learning about local environmental impact as core components of the mission. The goal is to compile the knowledge gained in this historic journey into educational material, which will be distributed, to students worldwide.
Since 2008, the group has visited over 150 schools not only in Nepal but across five continents, speaking to around 20,000 students about their own journey of struggle, success and bigger dreams. Under their mission to promote women empowerment, the group encourages, supports and guides women of all ages and nationalities to hike, train and explore the outdoors along with them; their belief – “exploring your own limit is the only way to empowerment”.
The group has uploaded a YouTube video to seek support in their mission.
Less than 350 people in the world have climbed the seven summits, which include all the highest peaks in each of the seven continents. Out of them only 51 are women and till now nobody from Nepal has achieved this feat.
With the scaling of Mt Everest in Asia, Mt Kosciuszko in Australia, Mt Elbrus in Europe, Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mt Aconcagua in South America, the seven women are only two peaks away to reaching their goal. Abiding with their motto ‘Together We Reach Higher’ they want to publish the knowledge gained in the seven continents into educational material to be distributed worldwide to young students.