水曜日は、Heroes and Giants
Climbing Mt.Everest is difficult, dangerous, and almost unthinkable.
The climbers have to prepare for many months, maybe even years.
When you get near the top there’s not enough air and a simple mistake can kill you.
In 1975, the first woman reached the top of Mt. Everest.
Her name was Tabei Junko.
Tabei was born in 1939 in Fukushima Prefecture.
She was not very good at sports, but when she first climbed a mountain at the age of 10 she enjoyed it greatly.
“The only way I can get to the top is by going step by step.
The joy that I feel when I arrive at the top is something that I can not feel in daily life.”
Climbing made her happy and strong.
After graduating from university, Tabei spent more and more of her time and energy on mountain climbing.
Sometimes she went climbing after work, came back down the next morning, and then went straight to work.
In 1969, she started a climbing club for women.
Their goal was to go and climb the world’s highest mountains by themselves.
Their first trip to the Himalayas in 1970 was a success.
And next, they decided to climb Mt. Everest.
But before even climbing, there were many challenges.
Some people told Tabe that Everest was a dangerous place for a woman and that she should look after her children at home.
But she didn’t listen to them.
It was also difficult to find a sponsor.
But she found 2 sponsors just before leaving.
A newspaper company and a television company.
Things were not easy after arriving at Everest, either.
An avalanche hit their camp.
And Tabei was under the snow for more than 5 minutes.
Luckily, a Sherpa guide, a mountain expert, pulled her out of the snow.
She almost died.
But Tabei wanted to keep going.
Then on May 16, 1975, she became the first woman who reached the top of Mt. Everest.
Tabei was also the first woman to climb the highest mountains on all 7 continents.
She never retired from climbing.
Even when she found out she had cancer, she continued to climb when she was in the hospital.
For her, climbing mountains was a way of life.
Tabei died in October 2016, at the age of 77.
In her leader years, Tabei climbed Mt.Fuji with high school students who had experienced the great east Japan eath quake.
Her final trip to Mt. Fuji was in July 2016.
This was only three months before she died.
She told the students,
“Even when things are difficult just take things step by step.
And you will reach your goal.”