Sunday, May 20, 2007 Filipinas reach Nepal base camp, set world record

reprinted from

The first Filipino women to reach the summit of Mount Everest set another world record Friday by becoming the first women to traverse the two main routes to the world's highest mountain.

Noelle Wenceslao, Carina Dayondon and Janet Belarmino reached Everest Base Camp (EBC) in Nepal before 6 p.m. Manila time where they were welcomed by the Philippine support group.

Belarmino sobbed as she recounted the ordeal of climbing the mountain months after she gave birth to her first baby.

"Napakahirap kaya masaya ako na makakabalik na kami…. medyo pagod lang kasi mahaba ang trek namin pero OK lang kami. [Wala kaming] sakit. Wala namang problema (It was very difficult that is why I'm glad that we can now come back… it was tiring because the trail was quite long but we’re OK. We are not sick. There have been no problems)," she told radio DZMM.

Belarmino said that her feat also showed that motherhood does not prevent anyone from pursuing her dreams.

"Iyon din mensahe ko sa mga ina na tulad ko. Ang mga pangarap namin ay hindi natutulog sa apat na sulok ng kwarto. Iyong mga panaginip natin bilang ina, kailangan natin ipakita sa buong mundo na kaya din natin (It's also my message to mothers like me. Our dreams are not confined in four corners of the room. Let’s show the whole world that we can also do it)," she added.

For Dayondon, the support of fellow Filipinos inspired them even more to reach the top of the world’s tallest mountain. She added that she missed her family back in the Philippines but the other climbers and the support of the Filipinos there helped her.

Team leader Art Valdez said the three set two world records in Everest history. They are the first Filipinas and first ASEAN women to reach the summit of Mount Everest and the first women to cross the mountain from the north route in Tibet to the south route in Nepal.

Crossing the mountain from Tibet to Nepal has only been done by a handful of mountaineers – all of them men. The traverse posed a bigger challenge for the women as they passed an unfamiliar route to come down the mountain.

ABS-CBN Correspondent Abner Mercado said the Everest team will rest at EBC before they proceed to Kathmandu, Nepal.

Wenceslao was the first to reach the summit at 6:10 a.m. Nepal time (8:10 a.m. in Manila) on Wednesday followed by Carina Dayondon at 6:20 a.m. (8:20 a.m. in Manila). Belarmino reached the summit three hours later after she had to fall in line because a lot of people wanted to reach the summit.

First scaled in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, the 29,035-foot peak has now been summitted 3,067 times.

This year, around 550 people will be attempting the peak from both Nepal - where a peace deal signed last year with Maoist rebels has brought an end to a decade of civil war - and via the northern flank in China.

In 2006, 11 people were killed, and already this year one sherpa has died while preparing for commercial expeditions.


Anonymous said...

Salute to the Ladies!

High-altitude climbing is about suffering, it's about being afraid. I don't believe anyone who says there's a lot of pleasure in climbing the highest peak. It's very dangerous, and risk a life. If you make one mistake, you die.

Climbing and politics are exactly opposites but only if the philippine leaders could spend a few days climbing a mountain together, then i guess Philippines would turn out the matters better.”

Daisy said...

Mabuhay ang Pinay!!!

Congratulations sa inyo! sobra nyo ako pinabilib!

Janet Belarmino thank you for inspiring us! I was moved by your words that indeed motherhood should not keep us away from attaining our dreams