Nepal | December 11, 2018

Record summitter recalls Everest victory sans supplemental oxygen

Rajan Pokhrel
Ecuadorian climbers Esteban Mena and Carla Perez on Mt Everest

Ecuadorian climbers Esteban Mena (left) and Carla Perez atop the Mount Everest summit along with Nepali Sherpa guide Pemba Gyalzen Sherpa (behind) on May 23, 2016. Courtesy: Pemba Gyalzen Sherpa

KATHMANDU: “It was really hard to be into thin air without having support of bottled oxygen,” an Ecuadorian woman climber shared after arriving from her record summit of Mt Everest, in Kathmandu on Thursday.

Carla Perez (33) had stood atop the roof of the world on May 23 ascending from the northern side, becoming the first Latin American woman to climthe b Mt Everest without the aid of supplemental oxygen.

“It is all about feeling, tenacity and courage,” the sixth woman in the world to be on the highest point on earth without bottled oxygen, said.

According to her, she was exhausted due to lack of supplemental oxygen for a while, but her willpower was enough to rid her of all physical challenges. After nearly two months of preparations, she fulfilled her dream to be on the top of the mountain, she shared.

“Women can also easily do so many extraordinary things in a better way,” she added.

Carla along with her climbing partner Esteban Mena (26) had decided to come to Nepal to climb the mountain this season after the country’s tourism sector faced a major setback following back-to-back disasters in the last two years.

“We will continue climbing in the coming years,” the mountaineers who hailed from a home to two chains of the Andes Mountains, said.

Climbing guide for the two-member expedition Pemba Gyalzen Sherpa said that Carla and Esteban had stood atop the peak at around 11:00 am on May 23 while Esteban was supported by a breathing mask.

Carla had also tried to climb the peak in 2013 from the Tibet side, but she had abandoned her bid due to lack of fair weather window. “But, I have never given up,” Carla, a resident of Quito, added.

According to Nima Nuru Sherpa, Managing Director at Cho-Oyu Trekking Pvt Ltd, Carla completed her third eight thousanders without supplemental oxygen as she climbed the Mt Manaslu in 2012 and the Mt Cho-Oyu in 2014.

A few hours after Carla made it to the summit, American climber Melissa Arnot (32) had also stood atop the mountain becoming the first American woman to climb Mt Everest without supplemental oxygen.

According to no-O2 aid climbing records in female category, New Zealander Lydia Bradey climbed the peak in 1988 becoming the first woman to reach the top of Mt Everest while Briton mountaineer Alison Hargreaves scaled Mt Everest without oxygen in 1995.

Chinese climber La Ji in 2004, Italian Nives Meroi in 2010 and Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner in 2010 had followed suit.

American climber Francys Arsentiev had scaled the peak in 1998 without oxygen, but she had died while descending.


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