Meet our Ladies – Junko

Junko Tabei s a Japanese mountain-climber who, on May 16, 1975, became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest

After obtaining a degree in English literature from Showa Women’s University where she was a member of the mountain climbing club, Tabei formed the “Ladies Climbing Club: Japan (LCC)” in 1969. She has climbed Mount Fuji as well as the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, among others. By 1972, Tabei was a recognized mountain climber in Japan.

Tabei, who in 1992 also became the first woman in the world to reach the highest point on each of the seven continents, says her passion for mountaineering has never waned — noting that her dream now is to scale the highest mountain in every country of the world. So far she’s done that in 60 countries, which means she’s around a third of the way to her target of 196 or so.

Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others, it rises from your heart.

— Junko Tabei

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