Sheikha Asma Al Thani, 31, is hoping to become the first Qatari woman to climb Mount Everest this spring. Her overall goal is to become the first woman from the Middle East to complete the Explorers Grand Slam — a challenge to reach both North Pole, South Pole, and climb all the Seven Summits (Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Vinson, Puncak Jaya, and Mount Elbrus).
She became the first Qatari to ski the last degree to the North Pole in 2018 and to summit Aconcagua in 2019. She was among the first group of Qatari women to summit Kilimanjaro in 2014, and she will become the first Qatari woman in history to stand at 8,849 metres above sea level if she reaches the summit of Everest.
She is the third Qatari national to ever attempt the climb. “I have dreamed of climbing mountains ever since I was young; a dream which has always been ignited by my love of sports and its ability to inspire,” Asma said.
“I climb mountains because it challenges my limits. And it is my hope that by taking on the world’s highest mountains, I can challenge the stereotypical image of the traditional explorer and empower women and youth in the region to challenge themselves and dream bigger.”
Asma has started her trek to Everest base camp for acclimatization, before attempting to summit Everest in mid-May, if conditions allow. Asma is a major advocate of female empowerment in the Middle East and has significant influence within the Qatari, regional, and international sports, and is a senior female official in the Qatar Olympic Committee.
There are a number of climbers currently making their way to Everest base camp. The Khumbu Icefall has fixed ropes thanks to the work of the Icefall Doctors over the past few weeks.