Joyce Azzam becomes first Lebanese woman to complete seven summits

KATHMANDU: A 34-year-old climber stood atop the roof of the world this morning becoming the first Lebanese woman to scale the highest mountains of each of the seven continents.

Joyce Azzam, who was born during the Lebanese Civil War into a middle-class family, successfully scaled Mt Everest along with other team members, Gyanendra Shrestha, a liaison officer at the base camp, confirmed.

Joyce, a conservation architect, completed all the Seven Summits by climbing Mt Everest this season, according to the expedition organiser. Earlier, Joyce completed the sixth of her Seven Summits challenge by standing atop the highest point in Antarctica in the last autumn season.

“She has a plan to become the second woman in the world to complete the Explorers Grand Slam,” the expedition organiser added.

“Team leader Garrett Christian Madison, John Russell Klein, Chad Robert Gaston and Conan Tundra Bliss from the US, Attar Nelly and Joyce Azzam from Lebanon, Wojciech Krzysztof Palkowski from Poland, Nadhira Ahmed Abdullah Al Harthy from Oman, Shahab Mona Kamal from Saudi Arabia, Sherief Mohammed Elsayed Elabd from Egypt, Canadian filmmaker and mountaineer Elia Saikaly and Stuart David Robertson from the Madison Mountaineering scaled Mt Everest this morning,” Iswari Paudel, Managing Director at Himalayan Guides, said.

According to Rishi Bhandari, Managing Director Satori Adventures, French mountaineer Elisabeth Marie Bernadette Revol, 39, along with Thuktang Sherpa and Anup Rai successfully scaled the mountain this morning. “Revol made it to the summit at around 9:40 am,” he said, adding that she would attempt to climb Mt Lhotse tomorrow morning.

Cheung Chi Fai from Hong Kong along with Nghwang Rupke Sherpa from Satori Adventures also scaled Mt Lhotse this morning, he added.

Jiban Ghimire, Managing Director at Shangri-La Nepal Treks, said that at least 24 climbers including team leader American climber Benjamin Jones from Alpine Ascents International stood atop the roof of the world.

“American climbers Peier Lowry, Taylor Adams, Thierry D’Hers, Brandley Lawler, Eric Murphy, Rakesh Patel, Richard Poole, Jafrey Sradomski and David Morris, Bjami Armannsson from Iceland and Beathe Johannessen from Norway from AAI Everest Expedition scaled Mt Everest this morning,” Ghimire said.