KATHMANDU – A 19-year-old woman this week became the youngest Japanese to scale the world’s highest peak, a mountaineering official confirmed Thursday.
“Marin Minamiya successfully climbed Mount Everest Monday morning,” Gyanendra Shrestha told Kyodo News.
Pasang Tshering Sherpa, her local trekking agent, said she made it to the top of the 8,848-meter peak as part of an 18-member team via the southeast ridge route in Nepal.
Her expedition was organized by International Mountain Guides, a U.S.-based expedition organizer.
“Back in Kathmandu after three heli rides! My flight back to Tokyo Narita is tomorrow . . . and next week, I’ll be heading to Alaska for Denali so this quick descent from Basecamp was just perfect,” Minamaya said on her Facebook page Wednesday.
On Tuesday she wrote, “Yesterday, I was on Mt. Everest. Top of the world — 8,850m!!!”
“I am absolutely exhausted, my whole body aches, and my toe nails feel like they’re gonna fall off. . . . But I am so happy and exited I can’t sleep!”
Minamiya already holds the distinction of being the youngest woman in the world to climb 8,163-meter Mount Manaslu, the eighth-highest mountain in the world, in west-central Nepal. She achieved the feat in October last year.
The youngest female to climb Mount Everest is India’s Malavath Purna, who climbed the mountain at the age of 13 in 2014. Purna climbed the mountain from the Tibet side because Nepal does not allow people under 16 to climb it.
Over 400 climbers climbed Mount Everest from the Nepal side this season since Sherpas fixed the route on May 11, according to Shrestha.
“Expeditions on Mount Everest wrapped up Wednesday and climbers are now descending. The season is over,” he said.
A total of 289 foreigners were issued permits to climb the mountain this season.
Three foreigners — an Indian, an Australian and a Dutchman — died on the slopes of the mountain since Friday, and two Indian climbers are missing since Saturday.
Climbing resumed this year after two calamitous years.
In 2014, an avalanche killed 16 Sherpas, leading to the cancelation of the climbing season that year. In 2015, another avalanche triggered by a magnitude-7.8 earthquake killed 18 people and also led to the season being called off.