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PHOTO: Ben Clark

Even in the male dominated industry of climbing, Dawa Yangzum Sherpa is making a name of herself. The 27 year old who began as a trekking guide in 2008 started her journey of climbing in 2009. From the mighty Mount Everest, K2 to Ama Dablam, she has climbed the highest that the world has to offer. The mountaineer who is on track to be the first Asian woman to join the elite International Federation of Mountain Guides (IFMGA) was recently profiled on Red Bull under Climbing. The IFMGA which is a five-year programme that’s often compared to as a Ph.D in mountaineering is the highest qualification in the world for leading people in the mountains (climbing, mountaineering, skiing).

Though she comes from a valley of noted climbers and summiteers, Dawa is the only female climber from the Rowaling Valley. Her story which continues to add pages and is only an exam away from another major milestone is one that not only inspires women in Nepal but women all over. She parts her interview with Red Bull on an encouraging note which I will leave you here with.

“There are a lot of other girls who can’t go to 8,000m. Their bodies can’t do it, and it’s so expensive and takes so much time,” Dawa says. “But they can be really good at rock climbing or ice climbing and climb something else. Your first ascent, it doesn’t have to be really hard. You don’t need to be really wealthy. You just slowly, slowly, go on.” – Dawa Yangzum Sherpa

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