Junita Sambahangphe successfully scaled Mt Elbrus (5,642 metres), Russia, on May 25, at 1:30 pm. Junita who earlier scaled the Mount Everest wants to scale seven summits — the highest mountains in all the continents. Among which Sambahangphe has already scaled Mt Everest, Nepal, and Mt Elbrus, Russia. Now, she is planning to climb Mt Denali, USA, later this year.
Sambahangphe has on her expedition list Kilimanjaro (5,895 metres), Denali (6,194 metres), Aconcagua (6,962 metres), Carstensz Pyramid (4,797 metres) and Vinson (4,897 metres) to scale.
Sambahangphe who arrived in Nepal on June 1 said that the total expenditure incurred on scaling Mt Elbrus has been about Rs 7 lakh, including the costs of equipment. The expenditure was borne by Non-Resident Nepalese (NRN) based in Morocco. Sambahangphe was somewhat not happy at government not helping her financially in her expedition.
Currently, she is looking for funds for her future expeditions. Once the financing problem is over, she will start her expedition to Mt Denali in September – October, this year.
“I have started my expedition with a message of, ‘Peace and Tourism Promotion — Nepal Tourism Year 2011’, from Elbrus, Russia, and will continue it till I have scaled all the seven summits,” she said. Her next expedition will cost Rs 15 million and other expeditions, especially to Antarctica, will be the more expensive, she said.
Sambahangphe plans to complete her expedition of scaling all the seven summits by 2013. Her motto through these expeditions is to ‘Save the Himalayas and Promote Nepal as Mountain Tourism Destination’. Sambahangphe, a student of gender studies at Padma Kanya Campus said that a good educational background is a must for people wanting to opt for a career in mountaineering.
Born in Aambung-9, Terhathum, before climbing Everest, she underwent a 35-day mountaineering course at Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). She made her first climb of 6,000-metre height, and later scaled the Mt Everest.
The growing mass of people scaling the Mt Everest should be quality mountaineers rather than people having vested interest. Many uneducated people take to mountaineering as a viable career option since it has all the trappings of fame and glory. However, this one is a different story.
Alex Abramov and Mingma Gelu with a group of Nepel women climbing Everest last year