Wasfia mounts Everest

Wasfia mounts Everest

Dedicates her feat to Bangladeshi women

Wasfia Nazreen has become the second Bangladeshi woman to scale Mount Everest just a week after Nishat Majumder achieved the feat.

She reached the top of the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) mountain at 6:41am Bangladesh time yesterday.

Korvi Rakshand, spokesperson of the Bangladesh on Seven Summits campaign that initiated the trekking, told The Daily Star about Wasfia's success.

Nishat, the first Bangladeshi woman to conquer the Everest, achieved the feat on May 19. Along with fellow mountaineer MA Mohit, she is now descending towards Kathmandu.

Mohit is the first Bangladeshi to scale the mountain twice and from both sides. He first topped the peak on May 21 last year.

Bangladesh entered the list of Everest conquerors with Musa Ibrahim raising high the red-green on the mountaintop on May 23, 2010.

"Wasfia called me over her satellite phone around 7:00am… She is on her way down and may reach the base camp in a day or two if all is well,” Korvi told The Daily Star.

She would like to dedicate her triumph to all the women of Bangladesh.

"We got our independence, but women are still fighting for freedom,” Korvi quoted Wasfia, the youngest Bangladeshi to reach the top of the world, as saying.

“This is for the Bangladeshi women, who brave their lives every day for freedom, peace and equality."

Wasfia reached the south summit with American guide Chris Klinke and two sherpas Nima Gyurme Dorje and Kusang Sherpa. The expedition was organised by Expedition Himalaya, said an official statement of Bangladesh on Seven Summits.

Yesterday, Expedition Himalaya through its website post confirmed Wasfia's success.

This is for the first time that a Bangladeshi woman, with no other team member, has led an expedition to the top of the world, said Korvi.

Wasfia left the base camp for the world's highest peak on Monday. She had to defer her summit push by a day due to inclement weather on Friday.

"This is it! I'm going up tonight [2:00am, May 21] for a possible summit attempt on 25th morning if all goes well," according to Wasfia's last Facebook post on May 20.

Wasfia's Everest mission began on March 26. She was supposed to reach the summit at least seven days earlier but failed because of bad weather accompanied by an avalanche.

Her Everest trip was sponsored by Bangladesh's Citybank and supported by Nepal Tourism Board, Himalayan Climate Initiatives and Nepal's Everest Women's 7 Summits Eco-Action Team. Renata and Kazi Farms acted as co-sponsors.

Wasfia launched her expedition to scale the highest peaks of the seven continents in July last year under Bangladesh on Seven Summits campaign celebrating 40 years of independence.

The campaign is a tribute to those who went through a long, dreadful ordeal for the birth of the nation.

Supported by the Liberation War Museum, this is for the first time that a Bangladeshi has taken up such a challenge.

Wasfia took leave from her job at Care Bangladesh at the end of November for this campaign, which will take around two years to draw to a close.

On October 2 last year, she became the first Bangladeshi woman to reach the highest peak of Africa, the Uhuru peak of Mt Kilimanjaro at 5,895 metres altitude in Tanzania.

She reached the peak of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina on December 16, 2011. She came back from 300 metres off the peak of Mount Elbrus in Russia on July 12.

Born in Dhaka in 1982, Wasfia went to the US in 2002 for higher education on completion of O-level and A-level in Bangladesh. She graduated from Agnes Scott College in Atlanta.

While studying in the US, Wasfia got engaged with rights activism. She often climbed many high-rises, notably a building of around 350 metres to post banners against the Iraq war.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, opposition leader Khaleda Zia, Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, Musa Ibrahim and different other individuals and organisations have congratulated Wasfia.

"We are proud of you. You are the youngest Bangladeshi to have reached the top of the world. All of us Bangladeshis across the world are proud of your achievement. You are an inspiration to all Bangladeshis, especially to Bangladeshi women," said Prof Yunus in a statement.

Meanwhile, Nishat Majumder and her fellow mountaineer MA Mohit reached Namche Bazar, around 3,440 metres above the sea level.

They left the base camp Friday morning.

"They will stay tonight [last night] at Namche Bazar and will start descending again tomorrow [this] morning," said Enam Ul Haque, president of Bangla Mountaineering and Trekking Club that organised the event.

They are expected to arrive at Lukla, around 2,860 metres above sea level, today and Kathmandu tomorrow, said Enam.


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