Friday, February 4, 2011
Edurne Pasaban named 2011 People's Choice Adventurer of the Year
Basque mountaineer Edurne Pasaban won the award for becoming the first woman to climb the world's 14 highest peaks.
She was announced Wednesday by the National Geographic Society as the winner of the 2011 People's Choice Adventurer of the Year for becoming the first woman to climb the world's 14 highest peaks.
"It's an honor that outside of my country people also recognize you, that they think that what you've done deserves a prize and deciding that I can be National Geographic's Adventurer of the Year," Pasaban told Spain's news agency Efe in an interview a day after receiving the Queen Sofia prize as Spain's Sportswoman of the Year.
The eight-thousanders are the fourteen independent mountains on Earth that are more than 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) high above sea level. They are all located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in Asia.
The first recorded attempt on an eight-thousander took place on the expedition by Albert F. Mummery, and J. Norman Collie to Nanga Parbat in the territory of Kashmir (in present day Pakistan Administered Kashmir) in 1895; this attempt failed as Mummery and two Gurkhas, Ragobir and Goman Singh, were killed by an avalanche.
The first recorded successful ascent of an eight-thousander was by Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal, who reached the summit of Annapurna on June 3, 1950.
The first person to climb all fourteen eight-thousanders was Reinhold Messner. He completed this task on October 16, 1986. A year later, in 1987, Jerzy Kukuczka became the second climber to accomplish this feat. As of 2010, a total of 21 people have followed through undisputed. This is an extremely hazardous feat; at least four people have died while in pursuit of this goal.
Basque mountaineer Juanito Oiarzabal has completed the most climbs of the eight-thousanders; a total of 24 times since 1985 to 2010.