On May 20, Vietnamese Everest conqueror Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha announced that she had climbed down safely from the 8,848-meter-high mountain, after resting two days on May 18 and 19 at the base camp located at 5,364 meters above sea level.
“I just want to get back to Vietnam as soon as possible to enjoy my homeland’s foods, like pho, beef noodle soup, and shellfish with my friends,” Nha said with joy.
Five years of preparatory work for one hour on the peak
After trekking continuously for eight days in April from Nepal’s Lukla to the Everest base camp, Nha began her weeks’ fitness and climbing skill training so that her body could adapt to different altitudes.
On May 11, the climber put on a helmet bearing the Vietnamese flag and her conquest officially began.
“Every day, I made it to a base camp on schedule and on May 15, I began conquering the Dead zone [from 7,950 meters to the peak of the mountain],” she said.
|Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha (right) and Rima, her companion, are seen in this supplied photo.
“Weather permitted, I made it rather quickly to the summit at 3:30 am on May 16.
“Right now I am waiting for the official confirmation that I am the first person to reach the pinnacle on May 16.”
Her whole quest to mount the 8,848.86-meter-high mountain met with minor incidents, but Nha did not get any injuries.
“I made it past the perilous Khumbu icefall,” she recalled.
“When I got to the Hillary cliff at 8,790 meters high, I was shocked to see so many dead bodies of fallen climbers frozen in the midst of frost.”
The summit of Mount Everest welcomed Nha with mild weather, a wind speed of 5km per hour and a temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius.
That allowed her an hour-long stay on the peak to enjoy her triumph over the rooftop of the world.
To realize this five-year goal, she followed strict discipline, including fitness training and climbing lessons for three hours every morning.
“It’s mighty and marvelous, almost surreal,” she said
“I felt like I was in another world.”
Conquering the Seven Summits
Interestingly, the day Nha became Vietnam’s first female conqueror of Mount Everest is the same date, May 16, when Japanese Jukno Tabei became the first woman in the world to achieve the same feat in 1975.
Tabei was also the first woman to conquer the seven highest mountains of the seven continents, known as the Seven Summits.
According to Nha, this is her lifetime dream.
Ever since she dabbled in mountaineering, Nha has conquered six pinnacles, including Kilimanjaro in Africa, Aconcagua in South America, Elbrus in Europe, the Carstensz Pyramid in Oceania, Vinson Massif in Antarctica, and Mount Everest in Asia.
|Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha puts on a happy smile as she tames the world’s highest mountain.
“I hope to climb the Denali of North America, 6,190 meters high, in 2023,” she said.
If this is accomplished, she will be the first Vietnamese woman to climb all the seven pinnacles.
The female mountaineer believes that conquering a mountain equates to conquering oneself.
As she stood at the peaks of Mount Everest and other mountains, she felt deeply grateful for them.
“Thank you for allowing me to come and admire a world so mesmerizing,” she said.
At times she encountered almost impossible hurdles and her mission could have been aborted, but the woman never gave up.
The night she made it to the top of Mount Everest, her parents stayed up all night awaiting news of their feeble-looking daughter’s journey.
Nha hopes that her accomplishment can inspire more Vietnamese to take up mountaineering and to venture into faraway lands across the globe.
“That can widen their perspectives, helping them to overcome all fears and limits,” she explained.
‘We have to act’
Nha obtained her master’s degree in law from Sorbonne University and Panthenon-Sorbonne University in France.
She is also the founder of Celigal Lawyers, a law firm in Ho Chi Minh City.
To succeed, she believes that young people have to get down to brass tacks instead of merely dreaming and talking about their passion.
|Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha had to make it past tough hurdles during her conquest.
She has been a keen reader since childhood, a habit passed down from her father, and currently owns an unrivaled book collection amongst Vietnamese book collectors.
“The journeys I take to the exotic lands can last for a month. There can be no signs of people there,” she said.
“If I’m not trekking, then I will be reading most of the time.”
To develop herself following her own recipe for success brings about great joy for this woman.
She thinks that with an open mindset and a willingness to try out new things and accept failures, she will be able to figure out different paths to success and achieve her dream.
|According to Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha, reading is immensely beneficial. She is seen with her book collection in this supplied photo.
The four Vietnamese Mount Everest conquerors
The official list from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal shows that two Vietnamese people signed up to climb Mount Everest in 2022, including Phan Thanh Nhien and Nha.
The world witnessed almost 690 women successfully tame its highest peak, and Nha is the first from Vietnam.
Nhien, born in 1985, was Vietnam’s youngest climber on May 22, 2008, and also one of the three Vietnamese to first conquer Mount Everest that time, alongside Bui Van Ngoi and Nguyen Mau Linh.
This year, Nhien made another attempt and succeeded on May 13.
Totally, four Vietnamese people have accomplished the Everest conquest.
|The first Vietnamese Everest female conqueror stands in front of the legendary Himalayas.