The informal club of climbers to have summited the highest peak on each continent is rather exclusive. The list of women to have accomplished the feat is even shorter, and the number of Saudi women to climb the storied Seven Summits stood at zero… until recently.
RAHA MOHARRAK LEARNS TO CLIMB
Hailing from a country with few mountains of note, and where women are actively discouraged from participating in sport, Raha Moharrak’s yearning to climb seemingly had as much chance of surviving as a snowball in the desert.
Despite her father’s initial refusal to let her pursue her dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Moharrack persisted and went on to scale Africa’s highest peak (5,895 meters | 19.431 ft). The experience, while physically draining, only whetted her appetite for more ascents.
FIRST WOMAN TO CLIMB EVEREST
''My hope, if I one day have daughters, is that thy are born into a time where there are no firsts. There are no records, because we've done them all.''
On May 18, 2013, Moharrak became the youngest Arab and first Saudi woman to scale Asia’s Mt. Everest (8,848 meters | 29,029 ft) and plant a flag atop the Earth’s highest point.
SEVEN SUMMITS CHALLENGE
In addition to Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest, Moharrak climbed Antarctica’s Vinson Massif (4,892 meters | 16,050 ft), Europe’s Mount Elbrus (5,642 meters | 18,510 ft), Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 meters | 7,310 ft) and South America’s Aconcagua (6,961 meters | 22,837 ft).
Finally, on July 7, 2017, Moharrak conquered North America’s Denali (6,190 meters | 20,310 ft) to join the super-exclusive Seven Summits club.
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