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Iranian women mountaineers to climb Mt. Everest

2/23/03 Neishabour, Feb 22, IRNA - Iran's Mountaineering Federation (IMF) Friday announced that a women's team of the country is to start climbing Mount Everest in mid-March 2003.

Talking to IRNA, Head of IMF's Himalayas-Climbing Committee Eqbal Aflaki added the female mountaineers of Iran, as the first Muslim women climbers, are to conquer the highest peak of the world. According to him, the six-member team is now at a training camp.

In 1998, the Iranian climbers succeeded in reaching the 8,842-meter-high Everest summit in Nepal known as the `roof of the world', he added.

The official said conquering the Everest peak is very important to the country and the Physical Education Organization has equaled it with a world gold medal.

Aflaki added four male mountaineers will accompany the women's team, predicting that it will take them three months to climb the Everest.

He also said the members of Himalayas-climbing team are to clear four mountains of trash and other waste materials in the next Iranian year. He referred to Damavand, Alam-Kouh, Sabalan, and Dena as the four mountains.

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