Raha Moharrak, a 25-year-old native of Jeddah, has become the first woman from Saudi Arabia to climb the world’s highest mountain, prompting extensive allusions to the state of gender equality in the kingdom in the international media.
Ms. Moharrak reached the summit at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, said Jeevan Ghimire, managing director of Shangrila Nepal Trek, the company that organised her expedition.
According to the BBC, she’s also the youngest Arab to reach the top.
This is not the first time she was in Nepal to climb the mountain. She was a member of a team of 11 Saudi women, led by Princess Reema Bint Bandar Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, that trekked to the Everest base camp in May last year to increase awareness about breast cancer.
Ms. Moharrak, who currently lives in Dubai, has a degree in visual communication from the American University in Sharjah.
In her climbing application, she described herself as “film and art director”.
Ms. Moharrak has trained to climb at Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and has reached the summit of Vinson Massif in Antarctica.
Ms. Moharrak also seems to have gotten ahead of other climbers. Around 670 individuals are attempting the climb this year during the “fair weather window” between Saturday and May 25, leading to a unique “traffic jam” at Everest. Only a fraction of those — with sufficient stamina — will reach the top.