Junko Tabei, The First Woman to Summit Everest Dies
“A climbing legacy passes on to the next generation of women mountaineers”
Junko Tabei became the first woman to summit Mt. Everest in May 1975 at age 35 was diagnosed with cancer of the abdomen four years ago, has sadly passed away in a hospital in the city of Saitama on October 20, 2016.
Tabei is truly a person that has inspired many people since her first ascent of the world’s highest mountain. Junko Tabei’s climbing curiosity really began when she joined the Women’s mountaineering club after graduating from Showa Women’s University. There she started learning about climbing which then leads to her getting the ideas of summiting high mountains including Mt. Everest. Her lasting love of climbing boosted her enthusiasm to summit Mt. Everest in 1975 making her the first woman to do so.
Back in 1970s, Japan still thought that men were the ones to work outside and women were to stay at home. But Junko Tabei and her 14 other club members had a different thought which made them go on an expedition in the Himalayas whilst it was disliked for women to do so. Tabei believed that “They all had the will and desire to go over the social boundaries that made woman to stay at home while were allowed to go out and conquer the world”. She wanted to change this idea very radically and drastically she did it when she summated the Mt. Everest.
Her achievement in the mountaineering sector has influenced many women to follow her footsteps to summit high mountains, making her a very extra ordinary personality among the women all over the world. The society never stood a chance against Tabei as she continued climbing and summiting other high peaks all over the world. She spent her whole devoting to the mountaineering field with everything she had. She never stopped climbing and promoting climbing.
She is mostly famous for being the first woman to successfully summit Mt. Everest but other than that she has achieved many accomplishments. In 1992 Junko Tabei made another achievement as she became the first woman to reach the highest point on each continent, also known as the “Seven Summits” climb. Not only that but she then set a new goal of climbing the highest mountain in every country, normally because she still had the desire to do more climbing. And she did exactly what she hoped as she succeeded at climbing the highest peaks of more than 60 countries.
Tabei’s achievements and accomplishments were unparalleled and unrivaled by any other person. Therefore Junko Tabei was honored by Japan’s prime minister in 1995, and awarded the 2008 Mountain Hero Award by the Mountain Institute in Washington. She is one of the most honored and looked after personals in the area of climbing and mountaineering for all the hard effort she put into climbing the high peaks in her life. And as it is said in her biography, Tabei’s last ascent was on Mount Fuji in July 2011 but her climbing legacy still passes on to other women mountaineers who are inspired by Tabei’s dedication to climbing.