KATHMANDU, April 25: A record number of Nepali women are attempting Mount Everest (8848m) - the highest mountain on earth - this spring.
According to the Department of Tourism (DoT), altogether 60 women have received permission to climb Mt Everest this season.
Three groups of Nepali women mountaineers are climbing Mt Everest this season. Five Nepali journalists -- Rojita Buddhacharya, Rosha Basnet, Kalpana Maharjan, Laxmi Karki and Deuralee Chamling -- are in the 1st Women Journalists Everest Expedition-2018.
Similarly, seven Nepali women -- Sarmila Lama, Phunjo Jhangmu Sherpa, Purnima Shrestha, Dabuti Sherpa, Doma Sherpa, Chhoki Sherpa and Dikki Sherpa -- are a part of an 11-member expedition to Mt Everest. Likewise, the third team has three women mountaineers -- Lakpa Yangji Sherpa, Yangdi Sherpa and Pasang Lhamu Sherpa.
Between 1993 and 2006, Everest saw successful ascents of only one woman each year. In 2008, however, 10 Nepali women successfully climbed Mt Everest -- the record high Everest ascents by Nepali women in a calendar year. Seven of them were from the Seven Summits Women Team.
After that, Everest saw two successful summits of Nepali women in 2011 and three in 2012. The year 2013 and 2016 saw one successful summit by Nepali women each, while three reached the summit in 2017.
Meanwhile, 713 mountaineers from 88 expeditions have received permission to climb different mountains of Nepal. Of them, 346 have received permission to climb Mount Everest. According to DoT, 286 among them are male, including five Nepalis.
A total of 323 women have reached the summit of Mt Everest form the Nepali side till 2016 since Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei stood on the summit of the highest mountain on earth in 1975.
Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), said that increasing turnout of Nepali women mountaineers have boosted confidence of all Nepali women.“"It relays positive message to the world”" Sherpa said, adding: "The entire world now knows that involvement of Nepali women in adventurous activities is increasing with every passing year."
Sherpa, however, said that only a few Nepali women give continuity to mountaineering after climbing Mt Everest.“"Participation of Nepali women in mountaineering sector is very low. I hope increasing turnout of women climbers will encourage Nepali women to embrace mountaineering as a profession”" he told Republica.