CAPE TOWN, February 10 – Four intrepid South African women will be the first all-female team from Africa to attempt to summit Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth, starting in April.
The four women are Lisa Gering, Alda Waddell, Deshun Deysel, and Tumi Mphahlele, all from Johannesburg. They are all experienced climbers and have been preparing for the Everest conquest over the past two years. Their preparations included climbing the highest peaks in Europe, Africa and South America.
Ronnie Muhl, who has summited Mount Everest three times already, will be managing the logistics for the expedition. The Cape Town-based avid mountaineer is the founder of Adventures Global. Last year went to the Base Camp of Everest to prepare and conclude arrangements for the South Africans’ expedition.
The team will fly out to Nepal in South Asia on April 1 and then make their way to the base camp. They are likely to spend at least 10 days there to acclimatise and familiarise themselves with the terrain.
The women stopped by in Cape Town over the weekend to receive kit from Cape Union Mart’s K-Way, the South African outdoor technical brand.
K-Way has designed and manufactured the bespoke climbing suits that will enable the team to face some of the most treacherous weather conditions and the harshest terrains known to humankind.
“Understanding how tough this expedition truly is has played a massive role in the design of the suits. Comfort is paramount, so we put so much effort into making sure the measurements for each of the suits, for each climber, are absolutely perfect,” said Technical Product Developer for K-Way, Stephen Hector.
“We often take equipment for granted – but with regards to climbing a high-altitude mountain, you cannot take chances or shortcuts. Your equipment must be 100%, from your boots to your helmet.”
Hector said the climbing gear has been tried and tested on some of the world’s highest peaks, from Everest to Aconcagua (Andes Mountains, Argentina).