Women Climbing their Mount Everest is Symbolically and Physically Significant

We are in times of greater freedom.  So lovely to hear of the two women climbing Mount Everest, one of the toughest physical actions.  It is good to see women imagining themselves doing what was previously out of bounds for women for a multitude of reasons.  Perhaps now we are seeing women starting to believe in the impossible and going for it.  There is nothing you cannot achieve in this life when you focus positively and go for it.  Helps to have fitness or you will be puffing at the base.  That is where I would start and finish ha ha.  However, I can look up at those going for lofty experiences and feel a sense of sisterhood. 

Here are a couple of stories.  The first is a Perth woman, can you believe she was on page 4 of a Perth paper in small print.  I just smiled.  I think many would have been amazed by her, she is in her 60’s.  It is a great achievement, for women have only known of men as explorers, so for a woman to break the mould and climb a dangerous mountain she is exploding myths about women’s physical capacity, mental toughness and courage.  That I find exciting. 

The second article is a Saudi sister going for it.  Her achievement is even greater as she comes from a society that regards her as a minor with less rights than men. So may the men of Saudi Arabia applaud the wonderful women and free them to enjoy the wind on their faces as they climb their Everests to freedom.   The truth is only women can free women.  That is the great secret.  I travelled the world as a World Peace Clown and heard people say it was dangerous.  I had nothing but fun.  Your happy destiny is unavoidable.



Perth climber Margaret Watroba makes history with Mt Everest double

  • Paul Lampathakis
  • PerthNow
  • May 25, 2013 10:50PM
Margaret Watroba on Mt Everest

Margaret Watroba climbed to the summit of Mt Everest on May 12 2011; only the fourth West Australian to conquer Everest Picture: Richard Hatherly


MARGARET Watroba has revealed she had to overcome injuries from a cycling accident that left her fearing she might not walk again properly – before she could climb to the top of Mt Everest this week.

But on Wednesday, less than 10 months after colliding with a jogger, the 63-year-old Perth engineer became the only Australian woman to have conquered the world’s highest mountain from both sides.

Ms Watroba summited the Tibetan or north side, 8850m above sea level, at 6.30am Nepalese time. She reached the top of the Nepalese side on May 12, 2011.

On Friday night, speaking from 5200m above sea level at Base Camp, in her first interview since summiting, Ms Watroba told PerthNow she was tearful when she finally reached the top, and that she was now “celebrating with champagne”.

She had finally put to rest her disappointment of having to turn back only 250m short of the Tibetan summit last year because of a severe chest infection.

“It was just amazing. You see all the mountains around. I definitely was emotional, I had some tears,” she said.

“It’s a very hard climb, a very dangerous climb. The edges you walk on, the width is very often only like my two feet in boots together.

“That’s the path and there is a rope … and if you slip, if you trip on your right hand side you’re just gone. It’s much more dangerous than the south (Nepalese) side. It’s very technical. That was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life.”

The BHP Billiton principal electrical engineer, who in 2012 also won the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA Women in Resources Awards Outstanding Professional Woman award, feared her ambitions to climb Everest again had ended when a jogger ran into her while she was cycling on August 8 last year.

“I didn’t have time to take my foot from the pedal, and I twisted it under my bike, I twisted the (knee) ligaments,” the grandmother of three who hates being called gran, said.

“Ligaments heal slowly. I was under the care of a surgeon, and he saw me three times.”

To her massive relief, he eventually said she would not need surgery and that “you will make it, by March you will be ok”.

She said she was the first person on Wednesday “to be on the top”. She was one of only three climbers from her group of 10 to make it, plus Phil Crampton, their leader.

“From Camp three (8300m) it was 10 hours. We left at 8.30pm (Tuesday),” she said. “Phil was expecting us to summit about 7.30 or 8. I was there at 6.30am.

“This year the visibility was perfect, beautiful. (But) the wind was so strong, but also very cold. Everything froze around my neck and chest.

“One Sherpa took pictures with my camera and the battery froze. So I only got two pictures.

“I said `take more pictures’. I had the flag of Western Australia and the flag of Australia, he took those pictures (on his camera) then on the way down he dropped the camera.”

She said she was finished with “8000m” mountains, but she broke a promise last year to never again climb Everest after nearly dying when she fell out of a tent at Camp Three, where she clung to a tent string to survive, before being pulled in by a Sherpa.

Her husband, Hancock Prospecting executive director Tad Watroba said: “Of course I’m very proud of her, as is the rest of our family and friends. It is amazing what her body and mind can take.

“I can’t wait to give her a warm hug and a long kiss. And of course, (I) would hope that she will not go back there.”


Raha Moharrak: First Saudi Woman to Climb Mount Everest

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Raha Moharrak First Saudi Woman to Climb Mount Everest

Raha Moharrak has become the first Saudi woman to scale Mount Everest.

Approaching from Nepal’s side of the mountain, Moharrak was one of 64 climbers who reached the 29,035 ft (8,850 meter) peak the morning of May 18 after climbing all night from the highest camp on South Col, the same starting point pioneers Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay took in 1953.

Moharrak has more to prove than most because despite recent steps in the right direction, in many ways the Saudi guardianship system continues to treat women as minors. Saudi women are forbidden from driving automobiles. They also do not have the right to operate without male approval or supervision. This means that women also need male approval to work or travel abroad.

Possibly the most important and the most damaging, Saudi women are almost always unable to win custody of a child or to legally defend themselves in cases of domestic violence, in a country where as the National Society for Human Rights reports, more than 75% of offender parties in family violence cases are either husbands, fathers, or male divorcees.

For women, Saudi Arabia is a marital battleground, where no legislation exists to help female victims of domestic abuse and marital rape is not considered a crime.

Reported during the first week of April, Saudi women are now allowed to ride bicycles, something they were restricted from doing before. However, many restrictions — female riders must still be covered head to toe, be accompanied by a male guardian, ride only in assigned areas and only be riding for purpose of pleasure, not transportation — still remain.

Another step in the right direction is King Abdullah’s 2011 ruling which will allow women to vote in municipal elections in 2015. The King also promised to appoint women as full members of the Shura Council in the future.

Despite these small advances, Saudi Arabia still comes out on top for worst living conditions for women. Essentially what it boils down to is that the male guardianship law must be abolished before Saudi women can even begin to see the light at the end of the equal rights tunnel. Until then, the main problem of men ruling and controlling every part of women’s existence will continue as it has been for centuries.

Moharrak is living proof that not only Saudi but all women deserve equal rights as men. The 25-year-old has accomplished a feat that has resulted in over a hundred fatalities in the past and is something many average humans — female or male — will never be able to achieve.

Along with the new rulings done by King Abdullah, more women like Moharrak need to step forward and challenge the Saudi patriarchy if there is every going to be any movement towards equality.

Picture Credit: Tumblr

Mohandas Gandhi

“Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong”