North Island College is hosting a slideshow presentation and talk by Lydia Bradey – international mountain guide and first woman to climb Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen.
In October 1988, New Zealander Bradey became the first Australasian woman to climb Mount Everest. Unlike her famous compatriot Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first man to climb Mount Everest, she did it without supplementary oxygen, a feat that had never been achieved by a woman before.
Bradey became known in the climbing world in 1987, when she reached the summit of Gasherbrum II, thereby becoming the first Australasian woman to climb one of the world’s 14 8,000-metre peaks.
The climb proved controversial since Bradey was climbing on a permit for the adjacent Gasherbrum I, a peak she had abandoned in favour of Gasherbrum II due to bad weather.
Her 1988 ascent of Mount Everest, like the previous year on Gasherbrum II, broke rules agreed to with the Nepalese. Bradey had not had a permit for the route she climbed, and her teammates Rob Hall and Gary Ball said she had not reached the summit to avoid being banned from the mountain.
When Bradey was standing on the summit, Hall and Ball were in base camp preparing to return to New Zealand.
When the Nepalese government threatened Bradey with a 10-year climbing ban, she too retracted her claim of a successful ascent, only to reassert her claim to the summit later when the renowned mountaineering historian Elizabeth Hawley endorsed her ascent after talking with other climbers who saw her near the summit.
Eventually vindicated and credited with the climb, Bradey has since gone on to a very successful climbing and guiding career with ascents in Antarctica, Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Mongolia, New Zealand and Nepal, including two more ascents of Everest in 2008 and 2013 while guiding for Adventure Consultants.
The Vancouver Island Section of the Alpine Club of Canada presents international mountain guide Lydia Bradey who will give a talk and a slide show about her experiences guiding and climbing on the mountains around the world including Nepal, Pakistan, Antarctica, Bhutan, Mongolia, India and New Zealand.
Bradey’s presentation is at the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College on Ryan Road at the Comox Valley Campus on Nov. 14.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with the show running from 7 – 9.
There is a cover charge of $12 per person at the door.