Seven Summits Women Team

 Shailee Basnet is the coordinator of the ‘Seven Summits Women Team’, the first female team in the world to climb the highest mountain in each continent. Her journey started with the ascent of Mt Everest in the year 2008.

Read on about her climbs.

Shailee's Climbs

Mt Everest

Shailee started her mountaineering journey in 2007 as a member of the ‘First Inclusive Women Sagarmatha Expedition’ (FIWSE). Only seven Nepali women had scaled the summit of Mt Everest till 2007. FIWSE was conceptualized by the leaders DaGombu Sherpa and Pemba Dorji Sherpa with the objective to increase the participation and access of Nepali women in mountaineering.Ten Nepali women representing six different ethnic backgrounds joined the team, most of them new to mountaineering including Shailee. Despite various socio-economic challenges FIWSE created history as all ten women successfully scaled Mt Everest in May 2008. With the message of ‘Unity in Diversity’, FIWSE became the most successful and largest women’s team to climb Mt Everest, ever! Shailee scaled the summit on 24th May 2008.

 

Major supporters of the FIWSE climb included Government of Nepal, the United Nations World Food Programme, BP Koirala India-Nepal Foundation, Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation, Embassy of Denmark, United Nations Development Programme, Nepal Mountaineering Association, Everest DeCargo, Tewa, District Development Committee- Dolakha, Sindhupalchok, Kathmandu, Mahottari, Everest Hardwear, Non-Resident Nepali Association, ICTC Group, Nepal Beema Samiti including more organizational, private sector and individual supporters.

Mt Kosciuszko, Australia

Shailee, along with her team mates reached the summit of Mt Kosciuszko, the highest in Australia on 7th July 2010. Including the climb, Shailee delivered motivational talk at 7 schools, colleges, Department of Foreign Affairs. The team hiked with around 40 women on Mt Gulaga. The team was supported by Crossing Land Education Trust, Outdoor Education Group and Veg Climate Alliance including supporters from Nepal. Nepalis in Australia organized honor and fundraiser program. The team visited Sydney, Bega Valley, Jindabyne, Canberra and Melbourne in a three week visit.

Mt Elbrus, Russia, Europe

Shailee reached the summit of Mt Elbrus, the highest peak in continental Europe situated in Russia in the Caucasus range on 29th August 2010. The team was hosted by the Embassy of Nepal in Moscow following the climb where the Nepali community shared the past and present of Russia. The team had special interaction with Nari Nikunja. Shailee delivered a talk at a special function organized by the Non-Residential Nepalis Association and the Nepali students at the University of People’s Friendship, Russia. Nepalis generously provided logistics as well as financial support to the team.

Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa

Marking International Women’s Day, Shailee and the team scaled Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest in Africa on 5th March 2013  together with famous South African Actress Hlubi Mboya, youth activist Ashura Kayupayupa, teacher from Hadzabe community Anna Phillipa and WFP staff Nima. United Nations World Food Programme, Tanzania, major supporter of the climb, together with Childreach Tanzania arranged 7 school visits for the team. Nepal Tourism Board held their first promotional event in the African continent celebrating the team’s success. The events were held in Tanzania and South Africa.

Mt Aconcagua, Argentina, South America

Shailee reached Plaza Independencia, 6500m, in her journey to Mt Aconcagua. Four of her team members Asha Kumari Singh, Chunu Shrestha, Nimdoma Sherpa and Pema Diki Sherpa reached the  summit on 23rd February 2014 at 6:15 pm. Shailee returned along with Maya Gurung and Pujan Acharya to avoid possible risks including that of frostbite that had developed on the onward journey. This was the first time all team members did not reach the summit. However, this was also the first time the team was challenged with health and weather. In Maya’s words this was the biggest victory for the team. Shailee agrees as it was this climb that proved she and her team had become mature enough to take the right decision at the right time. The team then continued to Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo for tourism promotion events organized by the Embassy of Nepal on behalf of Nepal Tourism Board.

 

Denali Base Camp, USA, North America

Shailee was stationed in a small mountain town Talkeetna in Alaska for three weeks as she coordinated the climb for four of her team mates who went for the Denali expedition. To fulfill the greater responsibility of making sure the team was best equipped in every way, Shailee worked from Talkeetna during the climb.  Four team members Asha Kumari Singh, Chunu Shrestha, Nimdoma Sherpa and Pema Diki Sherpa kissed the summit air on Denali on 24th June 2014 together with cameraperson Ang Tshering Lama. Following the climb the team visited Toronto and various states in the US for speaking, meetings and events. Shailee coordinated the Antarctic climb from Kathmandu. Four members scaled Mt Vinson Massif in Antarctica on 23rd December 2014, making the team first women team in the world to climb the 7 Summits

“The Journey Outside doesn’t mean anything if the journey inside doesn’t progress”

Shailee Basnet