Junko Tabei (ç"°é¨äº æ·³å, Tabei Junko, born September 22, 1939) is a Japanese mountain-climber who, on May 16 , 1975, became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Early climbing history
After obtaining a degree in English literature from Showa Women's University where she was a member of the mountain climbing club, Tabei formed the "Ladies Climbing Club: Japan (LCC)" in 1969. She has climbed Mount Fuji as well as the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, among others. By 1972, Tabei was a recognized mountain climber in Japan.
The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper and Nihon Television sent an all-woman team to Nepal to take on the challenge of climbing Mount Everest. Fifteen women out of hundreds of applicants, including Tabei, were selected for the expedition
After a long training period, they began the expedition early in 1975 when they traveled to Katmandu. There they found nine local Sherpa people to guide them. They used the same route Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay took in 1953. In early May the women were camping at 6,300 meters when an avalanche struck their camp. The women, including Junko and the guides, were buried under the snow. Tabei lost consciousness for approximately six minutes until her Sherpa guide dug her out. Twelve days after the avalanche, Tabei became the first female to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
On 28 June 1992 Tabei finished the climb of Puncak Jaya to become the first woman to complete the Seven Summits.
Tabei had a goal to climb the highest peak in every country in the world and continues to work on ecological concerns. Tabei is the director of Himalayan Adventure Trust of Japan, an organization working on a global level to preserve mountain environments.
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- Seven Summits profile
- 2013: Portrait Painting of Junko Tabei