The first woman ever to climb Mount Everest, 35-years-old Japanese housewife Mrs. Junko Tabei, emerged?
The first woman ever to climb Mount Everest, 35-years-old Japanese housewife Mrs. Junko Tabei, emerged from the mountain foothills to the village of Lukla last week with her fellow climbers.
Mrs. Tabei is the deputy-leader of the Japanese Women's Everest Expedition. She told newsmen after being flown cut of Lukla to Katmandu that the Everest attempt had nearly cost her life.
She and another climber were sharing a sleeping bag in a tent which was struck by an avalanche. She managed to pull a knife from a breast pocket and pass it to her companion and both women cut their way free.
Twelve days later, on 16 My, Mrs. Tabei and Sherpa Ang Tsering reached the summit of the 8,848 metre (29,028 feet). They spent a quarter of an hour on the summit taking photographs.
After reaching Lukla members of the party, who made the climb in International women's year, washed their hair and relaxed while talking with newsmen. They were also presented with "lucky" shawls by the local villagers.
Since completing the climb Mrs. Tabei has refuted suggestions that a nine-member Chinese team, including one woman, reached the summit on 27 May.
She said it would be impossible to get nine people to the summit at one time. And she stressed that she and Sherpa Tsering saw no evidence of any climbing activity on the northern (Chinese) side of the mountain in spite of the Chinese claim that they established a base camp there in March.