Reaching new heights

First all-female expedition team to summit Mount Everest is supported by Essilor

Everest climber

Essilor Group’s Essilor Sun division has supported the first-ever all-female expedition team to summit Mount Everest as part of its ‘No ordinary sunwear for no ordinary people’ ethos.

The team of six Nepalese women, who were led by Kanchhi Maya Tamang, included Rojita Buddhacharya, Rosna Basnet, Kalpana Maharjan, Deuralee Chamlingand and Priya Laxmi Karki. They embarked on the journey from the mountain’s southern flank to help defend gender equality and women’s empowerment in Nepal, they said.

Climbing the world’s tallest mountain required intense physical and mental preparation along with specialist equipment and support from the Sherpas Shepard Association as the team were faced with harsh weather conditions that were both extreme and unpredictable.

Despite most of the women growing up in mountainous areas, a long period of training was necessary to prepare them for the lack of oxygen, low pressure and extreme cold.

Everest Climber

The team were provided with Essilor plano sun lenses to protect their eyes from the extreme weather conditions, enabling them to enjoy the summit views. “We felt that we reached heaven; truly, we felt like we were in heaven,” they said.

Ms Tamang, who is also goodwill ambassador for UN Women Nepal, is the first Tamang women to ever reach the top of the mountain and the first women to climb Mount Everest for a social cause. She placed a flag on the mountain top that read ‘We are people, not property.’ 

The message was placed on the mountain to raise awareness for the fight against human trafficking, for which women and girls in her region in Nepal are particularly at risk.

Speaking about the experience, she said: “For many Nepali women and girls, there is an invisible Everest between their homes and the sports field. I have climbed Everest to empower women who are climbing their own mountains.”

Commenting on the team’s achievement, a spokesperson for Essilor said: “By conquering the world’s highest summit, standing at 8848 meters, these climbers have proven to the world that women can take on any challenge. This feat has given Kanchhi Maya Tamang and her team celebrity status in Nepal. While the climb wasn’t as easy as expected, they managed to pull it off brilliantly. They have proven that women can strive to reach any heights and have all the resources necessary to achieve the most ambitious goals. Now, they’re ready to take on new challenges.”