Geologist McGill first South African woman to scale Mt Manaslu

Kathmandu, October 7

A renowned geologist from Johannesburg has become the first woman from South Africa to successfully climb Mt Manaslu in the autumn season.

According to the expedition organiser, Jeanette McGill along with an expedition locally handled by Expedition Base Pvt Ltd stood atop the 8,163-metre mountain on September 28 becoming the first woman from her country to climb the world’s eighth highest peak.

“The goal of summiting an 8,000m mountain has finally been attained this season,” McGill, 45, told THT upon arrival in Kathmandu from Manaslu region.

McGill, who works as Head of Telstra Mining Services in Johannesburg, had attempted to climb the mountain in 2015. “Bad weather condition, however, forced me to give up the bid from Camp III,” she shared.

Having grown up in a hiking family and becoming a member of the South African’s Mountain Club at the age of 11, McGill has never let her desire for adventure  stop. The seasoned mountaineer led a field research team to Mt Kilimanajro for the 35th International Geological Congress in 2016. “I have been to Mt Kilimanajaro four times and also to the North Col of Mt Everest.” She shared.

Climbing Mt Manaslu was really a lifetime experience, she said, adding that the climb was tough but awesome. My climb was for women’s empowerment, she added. As one of the Global 100 Women in Mining for 2016, McGill said she always had mountaineering aspirations. “That’s why I was there on the mountain being the first South African woman ever to take on such a challenge,” she quipped.

With a PhD in Mining Engineering, Economic Geology and Mineral Economics from Colorado School of Mines, McGill had also worked with Anglo-American Platinum as head of the technology and innovation division. As the second woman to be issued an underground blasting certificate in the Free State province in South Africa, McGill also serves as president of the Geological Society of South Africa. She is also a non-executive board member of the Council for Geoscience.