Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Three Filipinas Conquer Everest

Reprinted from the ABS-CBN News website.
May 16, 2007 (as of 12:52 p.m.)

Three Filipinas made history Wednesday by becoming the first ASEAN women to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain.

ABS-CBN Correspondent Vince Rodriguez said Noelle Wenceslao was the first to reach the summit at 6:10 a.m. Nepal time (8:10 a.m. in Manila) followed by Carina Dayondon at 6:20 a.m. (8:20 a.m. in Manila).

The third Filipina, Janet Belarmino, reached the summit at 11 a.m. Manila time.

"Naabot na ng Pinay ang tuktok ng mundo (The Filipina has reached the top of the world)," Rodriguez quoted Wenceslao as saying.

He said Wenceslao and Dayondon were descending on the south side of the mountain.

"The women were going at their own pace. They weren't all moving at the same time. What happened was - Noelle and Carina actually reached the summit earlier than expected. They reached it at 8 a.m. They were supposed to reach it at 10 a.m. so I think the two other girls were moving a bit faster than Belarmino," he said.

He added that Wenceslao sounded "like an overjoyed kid" when she radioed him about reaching the summit.

Rodriguez said the three members of the "Kaya ng Pinay" Everest Team reached Advanced Base Camp (ABC) at 6,400 meters on Sunday. He said the three Filipinas started their final ascent from Camp 3 at 8 p.m. Manila time.

The Filipinas are also poised to set another record in Everest history by becoming the first women to have crossed the mountain from Tibet to Nepal. Rodriguez said the women climbed from the Tibetan side or the north route up the mountain instead of the Nepal side or southeast route used by Filipinos Leo Oracion, Pastour Emata and Romy Garduce to reach the summit last year.

The Nepal side is arguably the more dangerous route because landslides are more frequent on the Khumbu Icefall, a part of the glacier that climbers must cross to reach the summit.

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

Rodriguez said Oracion will be stationed at Base Camp in Nepal to welcome the women and accompany them back to Kathmandu. He added that he expects all three women to reach Base Camp on May 18, Friday.

At 29,035 feet, Mount Everest looms as the ultimate challenge to human endurance. The mountain sits on the border of two countries, Nepal and the Tibetan region of China.

No comments: