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Meet the women set to become first all-female team from Africa to summit Everest

6 February 2020 3:12 PM
Tags:
Nepal
Mount Everest
Everest 2020
The Everest2020 SA team have a dream to inspire female entrepreneurs. They set off for Nepal at the end of March.

Four Johannesburg-based women are gearing up for the challenge of a lifetime - to become the first all-woman team from Africa to summit Mount Everest.

Cape Town mountaineer Ronnie Muhl will be handling their logistics.

Alda Waddell, Lisa Gering, Deshun Deysel and Tumi Mphahlele are the four women who will attempt to summit Mount Everest. Picture: Michael Pedro/EWN Sport.

Team members Deshun Deysel and Tumi Mphahlele join Pippa Hudson in studio to talk about their dream, which includes inspiring female entrepreneurs.

As an entrepreneur myself I also understand that being a female entrepreneur - it's a bit like climbing Everest... There are the highs and lows...

Deshun Deysel, Entrepreneur and mountaineer

We really want to bring some kind of understanding that look, small business is hard enough as it is but if you're a woman it's not an easy journey. You're probably a mom, you're probably a breadwinner, you're probably looking after other people and you're trying to make your business successful.

Deshun Deysel, Entrepreneur and mountaineer

Deysel recalls the difficult decision to turn back during her last Everest summit attempt in 2003. Adverse weather conditions forced climbers back down 550 vertical metres from the peak (summiting would have entailed a 10-12 hour climb).

It's an awful decision, but it preserved my life and I'm still here.

Deshun Deysel, Entrepreneur and mountaineer

You can't control all the risk, but there are definitely things you can't be negligent with.

Deshun Deysel, Entrepreneur and mountaineer

Team mate Tumi Mphahlele is a marathon runner with eight Comrades under her belt. She describes the pull of the mountain:

Mountains are majestic. You only need to climb once and they keep on calling.

Tumi Mphahlele, Mountaineer

You tend to have time to think but you also have time to see what nature has to offer and to get yourself out of your comfort zone.

Tumi Mphahlele, Mountaineer

The pair also describe the challenges they face in making enough time for the intense preparation required to tackle Everest.

They plan to head for Nepal on 27 March to start the acclimatisation process.

Follow their journey on Facebook and twitter. You can also make a contribution on the team's gofundme page.

Hear more about the challenge of summiting Mount Everest below:


6 February 2020 3:12 PM
Tags:
Nepal
Mount Everest
Everest 2020

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