Skip to Content

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019
First All-Women Team From Africa Set To Summit Everest

First All-Women Team From Africa Set To Summit Everest

Be First!
by May 29, 2019 General, News

Four courageous South African women are preparing to summit Mt. Everest in April and May 2020 as the first all-women team from Africa to complete the climb, with the aim of fulfilling their long-held dreams and inspiring young women entrepreneurs to overcome metaphorical ‘mountains’ in their lives with the ‘courage to start and the strength to endure’ – the motto of the expedition.

The women, who are all both leaders and mountaineers, are Lisa Gering, Alda Waddell, Deshun Deysel, and Tumi Mphahlele, all from Johannesburg, with Ronnie Muhl, avid mountaineer and founder of Cape Town-based Adventures Global, managing the full logistics of the climb.

From the outset, the idea was always to be an all-women team, and the first from Africa to summit the world’s highest mountain – of which only a few South African women have ever achieved that. Gering, spokesperson for the team, explains, “Alda set her heart on climbing Everest and started the ball rolling. She contacted Deshun who said yes, as long as Ronnie Muhl manages the logistics. Ronnie recommended me to join the team, which I was excited and delighted to do. We knew we needed a fourth member and searched until we found Tumi, who is very experienced and perfect for the challenge.”

All the women have extensive mountaineering experience, trekking, hiking, climbing, and summiting the highest mountains in several continents, while Deshun and Tumi are also accomplished athletes in other sports.

The team is also fully committed to the cause behind the climb – inspiring, empowering and supporting women entrepreneurs. Gering says, “The Everest 2020 climb has a strong give-back element, and a percentage of our sponsorship will be going towards inspiring, supporting, and empowering women entrepreneurs – it’s where we all come from and it’s something we’re passionate about. We want them to know that they too can conquer the ‘Everests’ in their lives.”

Deysel adds, “Building up a business is like climbing Mt. Everest – it requiresmany hours of preparation, endurance, and sacrifice while staying focused on the long-term goal of success. As women entrepreneurs, we get it. We’ve been climbing our business Everests for many years and we understand the pain involved in making a business sustainable. As mountaineers, we have physically walked these journeys as well.

“Our mission is to highlight the plight of the woman entrepreneur in Africa by climbing the world’s highest mountain, and our hope is to inspire entrepreneurs, to relate to their everyday struggles, and create a positive narrative around the possibilities and victories that await those who give it their all.”

As part of their preparation for the expedition, the all-women team will climb Mont Blanc (4,810 metres) in the Alps in Europe in September and Mount Aconcagua (6,959 metres) in the Argentinian Andes in December, as well as intensive individual training by each of the team members, and two-weekly meetings to ensure everything is on track.

Securing sponsorship is a vital element in the plans and preparation for the expedition as the full cost of the preparation climbs and the ultimate expedition up Mt Everest in 2020 for the four-women team is about R5 million. “We are working on sponsorship/partnership options and are open to discussions with corporates who would be interested in seeing their company flag flying at the top of the world,” says Gering.

Media coverage of the Everest 2020 all-women climb will primarily be handled by Tony Lourens, world-renowned mountain journalist and photographer, and editor ofSA Mountain magazine, who will be based permanently at Everest Base Camp for the duration of the expedition to oversee the extensive press, radio, television and digital coverage.

Ronnie Muhl says, “I am very proud and extremely excited to have been asked to look after all of the logistics for this expedition, and I cannot wait to see the women hold the South African flag on the summit.” Earlier in April 2019, Muhl trekked to the Base Camp of Everest. “Part of the reason for this visit to the Himalayas was to prepare for the South African Women’s Everest expedition in 2020.”

Follow the team as they prepare for Everest 2020 on Facebook on Everest2020SA.

Share our stories...Email this to someone
email
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Visit us on fincheck
Vehicle insurance
Previous
Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*