On the shoulders of Everest
In 2012, 21-year-old Dawa Yangzum Sherpa scaled the highest summit on Earth. Today, with the support of the Rolex Perpetual Planet Initiative, she runs an annual high-altitude climbing course to provide Nepali women the skills to conquer life’s mountains.
Nestled among the Himalayas, at 4,200 metres above sea level, the Rolwaling Valley where Dawa Yangzum Sherpa grew up has been home to several notable male climbers. The rugged and remote conditions in high altitudes may give villagers an aptitude for mountaineering but, as a woman, no one expected her to follow this path. At 13 years of age, Dawa Yangzum defied expectations by making her way to Kathmandu where she took the first steps towards her dream of summiting Everest and forging a career on the mountains.