Female Dubai-Based Mountaineer Is to Scale Mount Everest With a Message of Empowerment
By Muhammed Aladdin
28-year-old Mountaineer Dolores Al-Shelleh made history when she became the first Arab woman to scale Mount Manaslu in Nepal, the eighth highest mountain in the world. Now, she’s made the news again, preparing to take on the highest summit in the world in an effort to raise awareness on gender inequality.
The Jordanian national and Dubai-based adventurer has stated that she is planning to scale the summit through the northern face of the mountain, arguably a tougher route to the top than the usual southern counterpart.
With her sights set on the whopping 29,000 feat peak, Al-Shelleh explained that she is doing so to inspire women to achieve new heights and to follow their dreams no matter what. “It is important to me to support and empower women everywhere,” she said to The National, promising to speak to underprivileged women and empowering them to take life into their own hands.
Al-Shelleh is due to leave for Tibet in April in preparation to scale the summit in early May. She has two weeks to prepare for the difficult scale. The north face route is infamous for unpredictable weather, high winds, snow, and clouds; it is the place where many climbers lost their lives trying to summit Everest.
Since Everest was first climbed in 1953, around 4,000 mountaineers have summited the peak. However, 297 people have tragically lost their lives in their quest for the top.
Dolores Al-Shelleh, however, is not threatened by these statistics; the young communication officer described how she was mocked and taunted by male colleagues when she first expressed her wish of becoming a mountaineer. The bullying she suffered has helped her grow and become ready for the journey to come.
Part of her training will include sleeping in a high-altitude tent, a piece of equipment that mimics the low-oxygen levels climbers experience at soaring altitudes.
Like all Arab families, hers are worried about her safety. However, they are extremely supportive and encouraging of what she is passionate about. Nevertheless, this is not Al-Shelleh’s first rodeo; by 2016 she had already climbed Mera Peak, Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus, and Mount Manaslu. Some of the world’s most dangerous mountains.
During her climbing of Mount Manaslu, she had torn several ligaments, but kept on going, proving to the people who told her that she is more of a fashionista than a mountain climber wrong.