First Albanian woman climbs Everest

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 21, 2017 17:52

First Albanian woman climbs Everest

TIRANA, June 20 – Uta Ibrahimi has become the first Albanian woman to climb Everest, the world’s highest peak of 8,848 meters and every climber’s lifetime dream.

The 33-year Kosovo climber reached the Everest summit on May 22, when she unfolded a scarf with the Kosovo and Albanian flags.

Coach Xhimi Begeja was the first to announce the news in the early hours of May 22 through a post on social media.

“She defeated Everest which claimed four climbers’ lives today. She withstood bad weather and brought the murderous Mountain to its knees during her second try. She could see the world below her for 15 minutes,” wrote Begeja.

The 33-year-old Kosovo climber described climbing Everest as her best life experience.

“I am so happy to bring Albanian and Kosovo flag on top of the world as the first Albanian woman. Thanks for your support and love that made this expedition much easier and enjoyable… and my hero-climbing partner Tendi Sherpa Utalaya,” wrote Ibrahimi, a climber based in Prishtina, the Kosovo capital city, where she runs an outdoor adventure travel agency.

The Kosovo-Albanian climber undertook the challenge after having earlier climbed the 4,880m Mount Blanc and reached the 5,925m Ramdug Peak in the Himalayas.

She was picked by the Tirana-based Dajti Alpine-Tourist Association as the first Albanian woman to undertake this tough challenge due to having the required physical and psychological condition.

The challenge unveiled on March 8, the International Women’s Day, came five years after a team of Albanian climbers of the Dajti Alpine-Tourist Association led by Xhimi Begeja became the first to raise the national flag on the summit of Mount Everest.

“My several years of experience in mountain climbing, continuous physical training, maturity and self-confidence, support by the pan-Albanian climbers, has made me more courageous to undertake this tough challenge carrying lots of risks,” said Ibrahimi at that time.

Some 500 women have climbed Everest so far since 1975 with Japan’s Tamae Watanabe, aged 73 in 2012, becoming the oldest women atop Everest.

In a photo exhibition a year after the historic climb of the Albanian team, climber Fatjon Plaku, recalled that the same as climbing the Everest, taking pictures on the way to the Everest summit was very dangerous. “One of our team mates nearly lost his hand because of wanting to take some more pictures,” he said.

Back in 2012, Xhimi Begeja and his son Mateo, politician Gjergj Bojaxhi were among the team of six Albanian climbers who made it to the Everest summit assisted by Sherpas, having previously climbed the Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro summits before deciding to take the risk of climbing the world’s highest peak at 8,848 metres above the sea level located in the Himalayas on the Nepal-China (Tibet) border.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 21, 2017 17:52